Tag Archives: C-ROADS

Knowing Sooner

SEED magazine recently published an article on models for managing complex systems. In it, I talk about the C-ROADS experience. It nicely captures the punchline:

having the capacity to accurately predict the utility of proposed policy—whether it be domestic legislature or multilateral agreements—in real time while discussions are ongoing, opens the door for an entirely new way to enact policy.

I get too much credit for C-ROADS in the article; here are some of the people who really made it happen:

CI teamThe ClimateInteractive team: Travis Franck, Drew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Phil Sawin, Beth Sawin, and Lori Siegel. Many other partners have also been instrumental, including John Sterman (MIT), Peter Senge (SOL), and really too many others to mention.

Leaders for a New Climate: Systems Thinking and the C-ROADS Simulation workshop

Oct 19-21, 2010 — Boston Mass USA

Climate Interactive and SEED Systems are offering a powerful three-day workshop for innovative climate, energy, and sustainability leaders from business, non-profit, government, and university sectors, led by Drew Jones and Sara Schley.

Attend to develop your capacities in:

• Systems thinking: Causal loop and stock-flow diagramming.

• Leadership: Vision, reflective conversation, consensus building.

• Computer simulation: Using and leading policy-testing with the C-ROADS/C-Learn simulation.

• Policy development: Attendees will play the World Climate exercise.

• Climate, energy, and sustainability strategy: Reflections and insights from international experts.

• Business success stories: What’s working in the new low carbon economy and implications for you.

• Building your network of people sharing aspirations for climate progress.

We will stay connected and collaborate to accelerate progress.

For more information and to register please visit http://climateinteractive.org/events

C-ROADS & climate leadership workshop

In Boston, Oct. 18-20, Climate Interactive and Seed Systems will be running a workshop on C-ROADS and climate leadership.

Attend to develop your capacities in:

  • Systems thinking: Causal loop and stock-flow diagramming.
  • Leadership and learning: Vision, reflective conversation, consensus building.
  • Computer simulation: Using and leading policy-testing with the C-ROADS/C-Learn simulation.
  • Policy savvy:  Attendees will play the “World Climate” exercise.
  • Climate, energy, and sustainability strategy: Reflections and insights from international experts.
  • Business success stories: What’s working in the new low Carbon Economy and implications for you.
  • Build your network of people sharing your aspirations for Climate progress.

Save the date.

Dynamics on the iPhone

Scott Johnson asks about C-LITE, an ultra-simple version of C-ROADS, built in Processing – a cool visually-oriented language.

C-LITE

(Click the image to try it).

With this experiment, I was striving for a couple things:

  • A reduced-form version of the climate model, with “good enough” accuracy and interactive speed, as in Vensim’s Synthesim mode (no client-server latency).
  • Tufte-like simplicity of the UI (no grids or axis labels to waste electrons). Moving the mouse around changes the emissions trajectory, and sweeps an indicator line that gives the scale of input and outputs.
  • Pervasive representation of uncertainty (indicated by shading on temperature as a start).

This is just a prototype, but it’s already more fun than models with traditional interfaces.

I wanted to run it on the iPhone, but was stymied by problems translating the model to Processing.js (javascript) and had to set it aside. Recently Travis Franck stepped in and did a manual translation, proving the concept, so I took another look at the problem. In the meantime, a neat export tool has made it easy. It turns out that my code problem was as simple as replacing “float []” with “float[]” so now I have a javascript version here. It runs well in Firefox, but there are a few glitches on Safari and iPhones – text doesn’t render properly, and I don’t quite understand the event model. Still, it’s cool that modest dynamic models can run realtime on the iPhone. [Update: forgot to mention that I sued compute rates & auxiliaries

compute levels

The only hassle is that equations have to be ordered manually. I built a Vensim prototype of the model halfway through, in order to stay clear on the structure as I flew seat-of-the pants.

With the latest Processing.js tools, it’s very easy to port to javascript, which runs on nearly everything. Getting it running on the iPhone (almost) was just a matter of discovering viewport meta tags and a line of CSS to set zero margins. The total codebase for my most complicated version so far is only 500 lines. I think there’s a lot of potential for sharing model insights through simple, appealing browser tools and handheld platforms.

As an aside, I always wondered why javascript didn’t seem to have much to do with Java. The answer is in this funny programming timeline. It’s basically false advertising.

More climate models you can run

Following up on my earlier post, a few more on the menu:

SiMCaP – A simple tool for exploring emissions pathways, climate sensitivity, etc.

PRIMAP 2C Check Tool – A dirt-simple spreadsheet, exploiting the fact that cumulative emissions are a pretty good predictor of temperature outcomes along plausible emissions trajectories.

EdGCM – A full 3D model, for those who feel the need to get physical.

Last but not least, C-LEARN runs on the web. Desktop C-ROADS software is in the development pipeline.

C-ROADS Roundup

I’m too busy to write much, but here are some quick updates.

C-ROADS is in the news, via Jeff Tolleffson at Nature News.

Our State of the Global Deal conclusion,  that current proposals are not on track, now has more reinforcement:

Check out Drew Jones on TEDx.