While such tools have previously been developed for climate modelers and analysts, En-ROADS, a system dynamics model, is designed for policy makers, leaders in business and civil society, educators, and those interested in identifying high-leverage climate solutions.
"Research shows that showing people research doesn't work," says
Through an intuitive interface, users move sliders to simulate the implementation of policies to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Options include policies affecting global energy demand from transportation and industrial, residential and commercial buildings; energy production from coal, oil, gas, biomass, renewables, and nuclear; emissions from deforestation, agriculture and land use; deploying technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; and even future economic growth. Graphs show the results immediately, including global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, energy demand, production, and prices, along with many other outcomes.
An advanced mode allows users to set policies more precisely, such as the price of carbon, subsidies for efficiency or new technologies, and potential technical breakthroughs. All climate scenarios are sharable through social media and email.
Users can also vary a wide range of assumptions about the climate, economy and energy system, to see for themselves how sensitive their results are to uncertainty. In the background, En-ROADS simulates a system of non-linear differential equations representing the climate-energy-economic system.
The model complements, and is calibrated and tested against, other larger and more disaggregated energy and climate models such as those in the
"Powerful simulators have fueled climate wonks for decades. This one works for users ranging from corporate CEOs and policy makers to smart eighth graders," says
Jones says that a number of business leaders and politicians from both political parties have had the opportunity to review En-ROADS in its beta phase and reported interest in more in-depth exploration. Simulation results from earlier versions of En-ROADS, he says, have counseled Heads of State, bipartisan
"This is a tool for grounded hope," says Jones. "While there is no magic bullet to reverse climate change, we can still avoid its worst effects. En-ROADS allows people to build pathways to do so and discover new ways of framing the conversation."
Sterman compares En-ROADS to simulators used in other settings. "Pilots learn to fly a new jet in simulators before going up in the real thing," he says. "Surgical teams learn to work together in medical simulations. Power plant operators learn to handle potential emergencies in simulators. In these settings, and for climate change, failure is not an option. The En-ROADS simulator enables people to learn for themselves what it will take to avoid the worst consequences of global warming before it's too late."
A suite of materials can be downloaded for free to support people interested in using En-ROADS and running the role play in academic, business, and policy settings. An extensive reference guide to understanding the underlying equations is available as well to help users better understand the model.
The Climate Action Simulation builds on the successful
To access the En-ROADS climate solutions simulator, please visit here.
Take part in live webinars, which will offer demonstrations of En-ROADS throughout the day on
The mission of the Sustainability Initiative at
Climate Interactive is a think tank that creates tools and resources to help people explore what it takes to address climate change. Climate Interactive provides unique tools and analysis that distill complex science and data into forms accessible to a wide range of audiences with computer modeling, systems thinking, organizational learning, and cutting-edge facilitation practices.
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mit-technology-powers-new-accessible-climate-solutions-simulator-300968163.html