Climate Illustrations

Posted on: 12/21/2023 - Updated on: 12/21/2023

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Need a helpful illustration to explain climate change? Wondering how to explain concepts like climate refugia and range shifts? We have just what you need! These illustrations explore tricky climate concepts and explain how climate change impacts ecosystem services, invasive species, and native pollinators.

These public domain images in the following categories are free to download and use without attribution. Explore examples of the services provided by different ecosystems below:

Ecosystem Services

Healthy ecosystems benefit us in countless ways! They provide us with food, energy, building materials, medicine, clean water, and clean air. They support biodiversity, regulate soil erosion, control flooding, and store carbon. Ecosystems also provide us with opportunities for recreation and can have cultural and spiritual value to many people. The benefits that people obtain from ecosystems are known as “ecosystem services”.

Climate Change & Invasive Species

Climate change is impacting invasive species in many ways. Changes in climate are creating new pathways for invasive species to be introduced, such as new shipping routes that open up as sea ice retreats. Warmer temperatures can allow existing invasive species to expand their range into habitat that was once too cool for them. Similarly, impacts to native species and people may change if changing climate conditions affect invasive species abundance. Climate change may also make existing invasive species control tools less effective.

Creepy Climate Impacts

BOO! Sometimes climate change has spooky impacts on fish, wildlife, and ecosystems. The illustrations below are a Halloween-themed take on the natural and not-so-natural ways climate change is altering our world.

Climate Concepts

Explaining climate change can be difficult, especially when it comes to how climate change affects ecosystems and wildlife. These illustrations help break down the terms and concepts we use to describe climate change impacts, so everyone can understand how our ecosystems are changing.

Climate & Pollinators

Native pollinators support our communities, farms, and national food supply, and are an important member of your local ecosystem. Climate change may impact pollinators in many ways, especially threatened species like the monarch butterfly. Explore illustrations to learn how their life cycle might change, and what you can do to help these species in your own backyard!

Managing Organizations

The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.

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