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Energy Development: Regional Likelihood of Development

Energy demand continues to rise at regional, national, and global levels, and how these demands are met will have profound consequences for biodiversity conservation and human well-being. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative have collaborated to assess the likelihood of future coal, shale gas, and wind energy development across the Appalachian LCC region.

Scientists at TNC used a spatial modeling approach to quantify, at a landscape scale, the probability of energy resource and infrastructure development within the next 20 years. The research combined multiple layers of data on existing energy extraction and transport infrastructure, geological and topographic features, and other relevant information to predict where future development may occur.

The resulting development likelihoods were also intersected with important biodiversity and ecosystem service conservation locations to assess where likely energy development could impact other significant resources, such as intact forests, watersheds important to drinking water supplies, and critical wildlife habitat. These models are useful for a variety of regional conservation planning applications, vulnerability assessment research, and educational uses.

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Last modified: 
10/06/2015 - 19:41