We hope to see many of you in Copenhagen!
If you will be in Copenhagen, look for members of our extended team using C-ROADS and sharing the Climate Scoreboard: Drew Jones (SI), Beth Sawin (SI), John Sterman (MIT), Lori Siegel (SI), Tom Fiddaman (Ventana Systems), Bob Corell (CAI), and Travis Franck (Tufts).
And please join us for the following events: Continue reading
The Mountain Express newspaper (Asheville, NC) covered our team’s upcoming journey to Copenhagen to use C-ROADS and the Climate Interactive Scoreboard to make a difference in the global climate deal. Writer Margaret Williams covered our work and the youth leader Ellie Johnston’s too.
Copenhagen or bust
by Margaret Williams
Photo by Anne Fitten Glenn
Climate geeks unite! Asheville resident Drew Jones — who admits he’s a bit of a geek — has helped develop a climate-simulation tool that’s already being used by some of the behind-the-scenes negotiators for the upcoming conference in Denmark.
The U.S. State Department is using our interactive climate simulator, C-ROADS.
At the “NGO Briefing” of the UNFCCC meeting in Barcelona last week, someone asked the U.S. negotiator Jonathan Pershing, “What analytical tools do you use to make your climate impact calculations?” Mr. Pershing answered: “We use a simulation called C-ROADS out of MIT, which is based on sound science.”
For those who would like to learn more about this simulation (including the other groups behind it, including Sustainability Institute and Ventana Systems), please explore our online materials, including scientific review, and simplified online version accessible to anyone on web.
And, UNFCCC negotiation parties other than the US can now get their own copies of the simulation. Grants to Sustainability Institute from ClimateWorks, the Morgan Family Foundation, Rockefeller Brother Fund, and Zennstrom Philanthropies have made such access possible.
Interested parties can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on why the U.S. State Department uses C-ROADS, here is a quote from a staffer: Continue reading
Coming to the UNFCCC meeting in Barcelona next week? Please come to two events next Tuesday on the policymaker-oriented simulator, C-ROADS:
1) Introducing C-ROADS-CP: A Common Platform Simulator
2) The Climate Interactive Scoreboard – Reporting the State of the Global Climate Deal with the C-ROADS Simulator. Continue reading
The Climate Interactive team has been combing the websites and public statements of various countries, in order to assess the state of the global deal to address climate change. The table here is the result of that research. Check it out here and see all the references here. And go here to see what climate results we’ll likely get if all these proposals actually happen.
More and more commitments every month, and still much further to go!
Big learning last night at the amazing TEDx Asheville:
People who understand the urgency of climate action are HUNGRY for a scientifically grounded story of the path to a global climate deal.
As part of the Climate Interactive team, I told that story last night using the C-ROADS simulator, and it felt like I was tossing 50 rib-eye steaks into a pool of under-fed sharks.
I think this has big implications for “messaging” about climate in these months before Copenhagen — we get to tell a story of possibility, not fear.
It “took a village” to deliver that presentation last night. Others who contributed directly to the content include Stephanie McCauley, Beth Sawin, Phil Rice, Lori Siegel (all with Sustainability Institute), Tom Fiddaman, John Sterman, Peter Senge, Chris Landry (presentation design), and Rick Fornoff (presentation coaching). And a powerful team led by Jennifer Saylor made the whole event happen.
Background on the scientific testing of the simulation is here. You can play with the simulation yourself here. You can also find other presentations of C-ROADS, other videos, and an interactive policy exercise using the simulator. The work is part of Climate Interactive, which is a program of Sustainability Institute, a not-for-profit organization founded by Donella Meadows.
The local daily newspaper’s article is here.
The tweets are all here.
Watch a video of the presentation here.
Today’s post comes from Climate Interactive partner and lead modeler on the C-ROADS simulation, Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems. It was originally posted on his excellent “MetaSD” blog.
From the news:
BONN, Germany (Reuters) - China, India and other developing nations joined forces on Wednesday to urge rich countries to make far deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions than planned by 2020 to slow global warming.
I’m sure that the mental model behind this runs something like, “the developed world created most of the problem up to this point, and they’re rich, so they should get busy making deep cuts, while we grow a little more to catch up.” Regardless of fairness considerations, that approach ignores the physics of the situation. If developing countries continue to increase emissions, it hardly matters how deep cuts are in the rich world. Either everyone plays along, or mitigation doesn’t work.
I fired up C-ROADS and ran a few scenarios to illustrate:
The top blue line is the AIFI business-as-usual, with rapid emissions growth. If rich nations stabilize emissions as of today, you get the red line – still much more than 2x CO2 at the end of the century. Whether the rich start cutting emissions a little (1%/yr, green) or a lot (5%/yr, green) after that makes relatively little difference, because emissions from the rich world quickly become a small share of the total. Getting everyone to merely stabilize emissions (at 2009 levels for the rich, 2020 for developing countries, black) makes a substantially bigger difference than deep cuts by the rich alone. Stabilizing CO2 in the atmosphere at a low level requires deep cuts by everyone (here 4%/year, brown).
The diplomats at this week’s UNFCCC meeting in Bonn will need to aim towards the most ambitious proposals offered so far within the UNFCCC process if they want a global agreement later this year that will stabilize CO2 levels in the range of 350-450 ppm.
The figure to the left — the output of the C-ROADS simulator — explains why.
We collected emissions reductions proposals in the public domain up until March 10, 2009 (called “Current Proposals” in the graph and documented here) – and found that even if they were fully implemented they would be far from sufficient to meet the goal of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels at or below 450 ppm, reaching instead about 730 ppm by 2100. Continue reading
On March 5th Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts referred extensively to our work in remarks at a forum sponsored by Hitachi and featuring panels organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Brookings Institution.
As the level of interest in the conclusions Senator Kerry referred to grows we offer here information on several upcoming opportunities for the science and policy communities to hear and assess them for yourselves.
1. The underlying model the Senator refers to — C-ROADS — is currently being reviewed by a panel of climate and modeling experts. We expect to be able to share their conclsusions and assesment of the model in the coming weeks.
2. Dr. Elizabeth Sawin on our team is presenting our results at the The IARU International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark. (In Session 50, 50 – Enabling Long Term Climate Policy Part II,3/11/2009, 13:45 – 15:15 ) This Scientific Congress provides the opportunity for the findings Kerry refers to be evaluated by climate scientists and modelers and to contribute to the body of scientific analysis informing the UNFCCC climate negotiations. The paper we have drafted for the conference will be available at the conclusion of the scientific review described above.
3. In the US, Dr. John Sterman from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and Dr. Robert Corell of the Heinz Center will be participating in a briefing about our results and conclusions on Capitol Hill. The briefing will be organized by the American Meterological Society and held we hope in late March.
Modeling math and equation goddess Lori Siegel recently sent along the latest version of C-ROADS (formerly called Pangaea) — the latest evolution of it since our partners at the Forum for Active Philanthropy stepped up to prep the sim to match the UN climate negotiation process more closely.
This is the shape of things to come in two ways.
1. The shape of our simulation. We are working to create a simulator that will test the actions of the parties to the UN agreement in Copenhagen in 2009 — all ~14 parties. We’ll include them in the model, post it on the web for the world to test, and then share the code open-source-style so others can adapt it.
2. The shape of CO2 emissions for regions of the world under the IPCC’s “A1Fi” future scenario. We need to avoid this.
Thought I’d post it since I’m excited for the progress (we’ll show this in Copenhagen at the end of November and in Poznan in December), proud of our modeler Lori for banging it out so fast, sobered by the ecological effects of all this, and a bit charmed by the pretty colors.