“The data might just be in filing cabinets at each border crossing.”
We always knew it was going to be tough to make a model of drought-induced population displacement in Kenya, and this comment in one of my meetings last month confirmed it.
I was in Nairobi to meet with experts and decision makers about our pastoralist climate risk and resiliency simulation, showing them the work we have done so far on a prototype simulation, and looking for leads on new data. It was a week full of meetings filled with learning about the complexities of rural life in Kenya. I was fascinated to hear about all the different factors – from where national borders lie to international aid priorities – that are affecting the resiliency of pastoralists.
Along with our partner from IDMC, I demoed our real-time simulation that combines rainfall/drought, pasture quality, livestock population, and international food assistance to explore the interplay of rainfall, livelihoods, and displacement. In the real world and in the simulation, when rainfall changes, pastoralist livelihoods suffer and families can become displaced from their homes and grazing lands. The simulation shows the interplay of factors, and eventually we expect to be able to help decision makers test how different policies can help reduce the risk of drought-induced displacement.
In reaction to Obama’s strong words on climate change in his inaugural address yesterday, Stephanie Pappas of LiveScience followed up yesterday’s coverage of Obama and climate change with additional commentary from Beth Sawin and Travis Franck of Climate Interactive.
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 21 January 2013
President Barack Obama discussed the need to act on climate change in his inauguration address, highlighting previously stated intentions to make the issue a priority in his second term.
In his speech, Obama tied failure to respond to climate change with a betrayal of future generations.
“Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms,” he said today (Jan. 21). “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.”
Obama went on to cast green technology in a positive light, arguing that America “must claim its promise.” The message resonated with climate scientists and environmental groups.
Today as crowds are gathered on the national mall and millions tune in to hear the President’s second inaugural address, those of us knee-deep in climate science are wondering what role climate change will play in his second term. The science blog LiveScience talked to Beth Sawin and Travis Franck here at Climate Interactive for a bit of context on the climate policy arena and where we could be headed in the next four years.
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 20 January 2013
As President Barack Obama prepares to take the oath of office for the second time, he has promised that climate change will be a priority in his second term. The chances that significant climate action will actually happen, however, remain slim, policy experts say.
“I always have hope, but it is sometimes hard to see how real progress, substantial progress, is going to be made with the fact that the Congress is so polarized,” said Travis Franck, a policy analyst for nongovernmental organization Climate Interactive.
The current edition of the journal System Dynamics Review, features an article by our team here at Climate Interactive on our simulation C-ROADS.
With over 700 users worldwide and counting, C-ROADS has improved the understanding of which national climate commitments will have an impact and what is needed for us to close the gap between maintaining a safe livable planet and crossing tipping points that may have dire consequences. Our latest publication on C-ROADS reviews its uses and capabilities and explains a little bit of its structure and design. If you are new to C-ROADS and would like a better understanding of what this simulation can do for you we recommend checking out this article in particular. C-ROADS is available for free on our website. On our website you will also find much more detailed information and resources for you to explore as well.
Read “Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model”
Climate Interactive is embarking on an exciting new project to understand and improve the long-term resilience of pastoralist communities in northeast Kenya. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) hired Climate Interactive to conduct an initial study of the drivers of livelihoods. The ultimate goal of the project will be to better understand how slow onset disasters like drought impact pastoralist families, and to implement solutions that reduce risk of displacement.
Northeast Kenya, which will be our initial focus, is particularly sensitive to long-term drought. Climate Interactive will be using our unique, real-time simulation approach to make sense of the important data and trends within the region. Following a system dynamics approach, we’ve started by interviewing stakeholders and experts from Kenya. We’re using these interviews to construct causal loop diagrams of the complex social, economic, climate, and political systems impacting pastoralists.
Community resilience is hard to understand and hard to predict. Climate Interactive has been evaluating community resiliency in a variety of disaster situations, such as recent storms in the US. Societies will need to better understand how to adapt to flooding, drought, and long-term climate changes. Climate Interactive is already considering projects involving other locations and disaster risks (hazards). We look forward to helping decision makers, at all levels and in all organizations, understand our adaptation opportunities and challenges.
For more information about our work with IDMC and the Kenya project, please contact Travis Franck.
In Rio. That’s CI’s Travis Franck and me with former UNFCCC chair Yvo de Boer. Asked him about the importance of adding up mitigation actions. He said:
“The goal of the UN climate convention is to prevent catastrophic climate change. Therefore, efforts must be measured against that ultimate goal to determine their adequacy. If we get commitments to NAMAs (nationally appropriate mitigation actions) from developing countries, we will need to quantify those actions against a national target and the global goals.”
Credit: Ellie Johnston
While the negotiations for Rio+20 progressed, Drew and Travis of Climate Interactive were sharing analysis and facilitating a group that is exploring pathways to break through the climate impasse at the Rio Climate Challenge. This event, part conference, part workshop, went beyond a typical conference speaker series with hundreds of audience members listening to experts who drop in for their part and then scoot off to the next thing. The Rio Climate Challenge included a plenary hall where audience members hear from leaders in different areas of climate, like from Yvo de Boer, the former secretariat of the UN climate change negotiations. The unique part of this event was that speakers when not on stage are working together in a small group to develop a set of recommendations for the climate change negotiations and Rio+20. Continue reading
Drew Jones, Travis Franck, and I will be in Rio de Janeiro in June to share Climate Interactive’s tools on climate and energy. There, at the Rio+20 conference and parallel events, we will join thousands in imagining the pathways to overcome the challenges facing humanity on our finite planet. We are seeking opportunities to share our simulations—particularly C-ROADS and En-ROADS—to support others in making the best choices for sustainability.
The Rio+20 Conference marks the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, an event, which heralded in a set of new treaties to address our ecological challenges from climate change to biodiversity. While not so much a celebration of the anniversary of the first Rio Earth Summit—whose ambitious goals we have yet to achieve—Rio+20 will be casting an eye to the future. How do we create the future we want, a future where we live within the limits of our planet?
The tools that we have developed at Climate Interactive can help give this global conversation context. By looking at our global climate and energy challenges our simulations provide people the opportunity to explore the ways we can get to a world powered by low and zero carbon energy sources and where our business as usual trajectory does not lead to runaway climate change. We want to share our tools with your groups that are making a difference in this space. Connect with us if you’ll be in Rio in the coming weeks and let us know what you will do there.
Alfredo Sirkis at RCC opening planning ceremony (credit: Tarsio Alves)
Travis Franck, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst here at Climate Interactive, recently returned from Recife, Brazil, where he worked with Brazilian congressional representatives and international leaders in climate policy to shape what will be Brazil’s crowning climate change event around the Rio+20 Earth Summit this June. The Rio Climate Challenge aims to demonstrate that it is possible to have an international agreement that can keep CO2 concentrations under 450ppm. Climate Interactive has been showing to people (with our C-ROADS simulation) what global action would be required to put the world on a 2C-Pathway, and we are excited that others are committed to continuing to bring this message to political leaders.
The Rio Climate Challenge (RCC) is being convened by the Brazilian congress. It will be an additional event during the Rio+20 conference focused on a climate change, which is not included in the main UN meeting. Continue reading
In response to the needs of our users, Climate Interactive has updated the C-ROADS climate policy testing software with a suite of new features and analytic abilities.
In this one-hour webinar, three model developers and analysts from the Climate Interactive team will introduce the new features, from new output windows, to sensitivity testing, to more control over underlying model assumptions. The session will be interactive, with ample time for questions and discussion. Drs. Travis Franck, Phil Rice, and Lori Siegel will lead the webinar.
Title: New Features in C-ROADS 3.0
Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Time: 15:00 GMT (10:00 EST)
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
Attendees will be able to receive a free copy of C-ROADS software.