There is an urgent need to accurately assess the vulnerability of species to climate change. Tropical species, which make up the vast majority of the world's biodiversity, are predicted to be most at risk from climate change. These predictions of risk and vulnerability ignore the ameliorating factors of evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic plasticity, making them inherently uncertain. We will address this uncertainty by assessing the importance of evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic plasticity for responses to climate change in tropical and temperature species. This will provide a spatially explicit framework for the accurate assessment of risk and vulnerability to climate change.