What is CRAVe?

CRAVe is the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability.

This registry includes hundreds of climate vulnerability assessments (VAs) pertaining to species and ecosystems, built environments and infrastructure, cultural resources, and socioeconomic systems. Although the registry is no longer being updated, this database contains valuable historical information on the vulnerability of various regions, sectors, and habitats that can be used to inform updated vulnerability assessments and other climate adaptation work moving forward.

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Who Built CRAVe?

CRAVe is a publically accessible resource that provides information on the vulnerability of natural and human resources to a changing climate. It was a joint project administered by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (now the National Climate Adaptation Science Center) and EcoAdapt. 

All CRAVe VAs can now be found on CAKE!

In 2013, a steering group was convened to develop plans for a searchable, public registry on climate change vulnerability assessments. The goal of CRAVe is to make VAs readily accessible and publically available, so resources devoted to assessments could be efficiently used and inform future decision-making. This steering group, led by USGS, included member agencies from the USGCRP Adaptation Science Work Group, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and several other NGOs.

What Information is Included in a CRAVe VA? 

The registry includes VAs (as well as a few risk assessments) undertaken by federal and non-federal partners. Most CRAVe VAs will include the following components: 1) project location and scale, 2) assessment target or endpoint, 3) contact information, 4) managing agency and partner agencies, 5) vulnerability assessment components (exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity), 5) type of climate, sea-level, or hydrological change projections (hazards), 6) methods for determining impact of hazards, and 6) the purpose of the VA. Where applicable, relevant links and documents have also been uploaded.

What is a Vulnerability Assessment? 

Vulnerability assessments can provide insights on resources that are most likely to be affected by climate change and why those resources are most vulnerable, making them an important tool for informing climate change adaptation planning.

For the registry, vulnerability assessments are defined in  accordance with the 2007 IPCC definition. This definition suggests that understanding the vulnerability of a particular resource can be achieved through the assessment of exposure (magnitude and rate of climate change a resource is likely to experience), sensitivity (characteristics that affect tolerance to climate change), and adaptive capacity (inherent ability to moderate climate impacts). This remains the most commonly used definition by the natural resources community.

We recognize that other frameworks may be used by different agencies and organizations for understanding climate change impacts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) often focuses on risk assessment, which is the chance of harmful effects occurring as a result of climate change (or other stressor).

How Can I Use CRAVe?

Before starting a vulnerability assessment, CRAVe can be used to identify previously completed assessments for the same region or resources you are evaluating. It may also help you identify collaborators. Ideally, CRAVe will be used to avoid replication, inform future VAs, and motivate the implementation of adaptation actions.

New VAs are not being accepted at this time, but explore the hundreds already collected!

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