Modelling climate trajectories in Copenhagen

My systems modelling colleague Tom Fiddaman has been working to develop a policy screening simulation model to aid with climate negotiations.  He and his colleagues at Climate Interactive have developed a simple integrated energy and climate model C-ROADSSome negotiators are running on their laptop computers to evaluate alternate proposals.  Climate Interactive are using it at COP15 to provide dynamic updates of the consquences of different policy proposals.  An updated figure is shown in the figure above.

On the Climate Interactive website they write:

…how close do current proposals bring the world to climate goals such as stabilizing CO2 concentrations at 350ppm or limiting temperature increase to 2°C? The challenges of adding up proposals that are framed in multiple ways and the difficulty of determining long-term impacts of any given global greenhouse gas emissions pathway are just as present for citizens as they are for policy makers and political leaders.

With these facts in mind, our team is tracking the proposals under consideration and using the same climate change simulation available to policy-makers to report our estimate of how close ‘current proposals’ come to realizing climate goals. And we are aiming to do it in real-time as the summit unfolds.

Calculations in the Climate Scoreboard are made in C-ROADS, a scientifically reviewed climate simulator built using the system dynamics methodology that is designed to aggregate the proposals of 15 countries and country groups and calculate the climate impacts such as carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.  C-ROADS was built by Sustainability Institute, Ventana Systems, and the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Follow these links to understand more about C-ROADS, explore its site, read the scientific review, read the reference guide, read user quotes, read the “Frequently Asked Questions”, or experiment with the online, CO2-focused, three region version, C-Learn.

To view more Scoreboard results beyond the temperature values shown in the “widget” image, view the table of proposals, download a PowerPoint file with graphs, consult the “Frequently Asked Questions” and view an Excel file that includes a table of references for the proposals, lists our modeling assumptions, and shares C-ROADS output for the proposals.

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