- At a recent MIT conference, Climate Interactive member Prof. John Sterman provided an inspiring analysis of the relationship between big data, climate models and climate change action.
Climate Interactive team member, Prof. John Sterman
As we see data and models become more advanced and more available, we’re only really reaching the first step toward solving the problem of climate change. The real challenge that we’re facing, Sterman said, is communicating all this information so that it teaches and inspires people to pursue the appropriate solutions.
“The burden is on us,” he said. “People are solving problems—data doesn’t solve problems [and] information doesn’t solve problems.” Continue reading
Youngest “World Climate” players yet!
Climate Interactive’s Drew Jones led a class of eleven seventh graders from Hanger Hall School for Girls through the “Mock-UN” policy exercise where three teams represent country groups and negotiate a global climate deal. They learned the biogeochemical carbon system through the “Bathtub” analogy and improved their understanding of climate dynamics.
MIT professor and Climate Interactive team member, John Sterman, succinctly explains in the video below that using simulation models can help policymakers address climate change. John explains, “If these models are going to be effective they not only have to be rigorously grounded in the science—as our models are—but they have to be transparent, accessible, run quickly, and give people that immediate feedback on any experiment they may want to run.” Find out more about the C-ROADS model John describes and the work we are doing at http://www.climateinteractive.org.
Last month, Drew Jones presented at the EPA’s “Integrated Modeling to Characterize Climate Change Impacts and Support Decision Making” conference in Atlanta, GA. In the video above, he discusses the lessons our Climate Interactive team has learned while developing and sharing our C-ROADS model and its climate insights with the world.
We were thrilled that folks at the COP16 UN Climate Talks in Cancun Mexico last week loved the beta version of our C-ROADS climate simulation. Check out the 2 minute video above. This amazing app is not yet available on the iTunes store, but needs to be! Join the project with talent or funds by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detail on the simulation, watch the video below, created by Dr. Phil Rice. (You may notice this second video shows an earlier version of the app). Continue reading
Today, in events in Helsinki, London, Washington D. C., and Nairobi, the United Nations Environment Program is releasing its Emissions Gap Report which is now available on the both the UNEP webpage and the Climate Interactive website.
The report was convened in conjunction with the European Climate Foundation and the National Institute of Ecology-SEMARNAT, Mexico, and convened 33 scientists from 25 research teams around the world, including Climate Interactive’s Beth Sawin.
The findings, launched in advance of the UN climate convention meeting in Cancun, Mexico, spotlight the size of the ‘emissions gap’ between where nations might be in 2020 versus where the science indicates they need to be.
Climate Interactive is pleased to have been able to contribute to this important study, and Beth will be participating in the Washington event via teleconference as well as sharing the report’s main findings in two webinars November 23 and 24th.
As attention begins to turn to the next round of UNFCCC talks, which begin November 29th in Cancun, Mexico, the message of the report is quite aligned with Climate Interactive’s assessment of possible pledges in the run up to the Copenhagen round of negotiations: “we’ve made some progress, and have further to go.”
The good news embedded in the report is the fact that while a gap exists between current pledges and the emissions levels consistent with a 2°C temperature limit, the gap could, in principle, be reduced to zero, given the the assumptions of the energy system models and scenarios drawn upon in the report.
A new simulation from the C-ROADS team is coming!
To fully address climate change, we’ll need to look at strategies, policies, and investments over the next decade that will affect greenhouse gas emissions for much longer into the future. (One big reason — fifteen times the needed Carbon abatement will happen post 2020!)
We’re working on an extension of C-ROADS that helps decision-makers take such a long term view. The picture here captures many of the scenarios we can imagine. Continue reading
Dr. Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems, in my opinion the top system dynamics modeler of climate change science and policy, will be leading a public training course next month in New Mexico, USA.
As person who has learned a lot from Tom over the past fifteen years, I would STRONGLY encourage interested folks to sign up.
It will be June 7, in Albuquerque New Mexico, and is titled “Climate Policy & System Dynamics.”
The description says, “Examine the dynamics of climate science and climate policy, using accessible small-scale models. The course assumes familiarity with Vensim, including subscripts as well as a general knowledge of current climate issues.”
He’ll likely include examples from his thesis model from his PhD at MIT as well as C-ROADS and other simpler versions such as C-Learn.
More details and registration forms for these courses are here.
Since 2006, Sustainability Institute’s climate efforts — Climate Interactive and Our Climate Ourselves – operating along side our work with international policymakers, has achieved significant successes translating simulation-based insights in eleven different forms.
1. Embeddable Widget. The C-ROADS-based Climate Scoreboard spread virally through the climate policy world during the Copenhagen Conference and was embedded in thousands of blogs and webpages, reaching over half a million views.
2. Online Datasets. The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, and Washington Post used the Excel files of model output that we post online, to create graphics for their media to report the Copenhagen Accord. And 350.org used the same data as part of a poster to influence delegates at the meetings.
3. Simulation Exhibits. A consortium of science museum exhibit designers convened by Brown University integrated the C-ROADS simulation into a “touch-table” exhibit that is now touring New England science museums.
4. “Sticky” Metaphors. Dr. John Sterman (a partner in Climate Interactive) developed the “carbon bathtub” as a framework that was published as the “Big New Idea” in National Geographic Magazine in December 2009.