Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Simulator

John D. Sterman is the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of MIT's System Dynamics Group. His research includes systems thinking and organizational learning, computer simulation of corporate strategy, and the theory of nonlinear dynamics.

Prof. Sterman's research centers on improving managerial decision making in complex systems. He has devised various tools akin to "flight simulators" to help corporate leaders understand the nature of a variety of problems and choose among various remedies. He recently turned this approach to climate, which he says bears much more resemblance to deficit spending and the national debt than it does to 20th-century-style pollution problems like acid rain.

In the climate system, Dr. Sterman says — echoing many climate scientists — it is a loud message that a prompt start is needed in curbing and then cutting emissions if you want to cut the chances of passing dangerous thresholds.

His interactive Greenhouse Gas Emissions Simulator explores the issues of climate change including how greenhouse gas emissions relate to atmospheric concentrations and temperature change. It also asks the question of how much and how fast do GHG emissions need to change to reduce the risk that human activity will cause dangerous changes in the climate?

Read more at "The Greenhouse Effect and the Bathtub Effect".

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