ORNL forest threat warning system in White House’s “top 25” climate resilience tools

Dec 08, 2014
 ForWarn uses the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to measure the health of vegetation. This index uses the red and near infrared portions of the spectrum to identify where plants are thriving and where they are under stress, based on how much they are photosynthesizing. ​

ForWarn, the early warning system for forest threats developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Climate Change Science Institute researchers and collaborators, has been included in the US Climate Resilience Toolkit’s “top 25” tools. The toolkit was launched for the White House on November 17 by a partnership of federal agencies and organizations led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide “scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities and improve their resilience to extreme events.”

ForWarn is its own toolkit, including products for identifying threats such as wildfires; extreme weather; and disturbances caused by insects, disease, and other ecological factors in near-real-time using satellite-based mapping that monitors forest greenness over the last decade in the contiguous United States. ORNL’s ForWarn collaborators are the US Forest Service, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Stennis Space Center, and the US Department of the Interior’s Earth Resources and Observation Science Center. You can access ForWarn through the US Climate Resilience Toolkit here.