I have been involved in “climate space modelling” for a few years now. This is an approach that uses observations of a given species to determine the range of environmental variables under which it will occur. Once you know what the limits of its tolerance are, you can predict where the species will occur. For example, let’s say that a damselfly (of course I’m using a hypothetical damselfly) can live at temperature of between 10 and 20 degrees and precipitation has to be between 200mm and 500mm per year. Warmer, wetter, cooler or drier than that and it can’t survive. We can use these limits to predict (i) where the species currently exists but has not been recorded, and (ii) where the species might exist in the future as the climate changes.