Navigation Links
Finding common ground fosters understanding of climate change
Date:2/17/2014

EAST LANSING, Mich. Grasping the concept of climate change and its impact on the environment can be difficult. Establishing common ground and using models, however, can break down barriers and present the concept in an easily understood manner.

In a presentation at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Michigan State University systems ecologist and modeler Laura Schmitt-Olabisi shows how system dynamics models effectively communicate the challenges and implications of climate change.

"In order to face the ongoing challenges posed by climate adaptation, there is a need for tools that can foster dialogue across traditional boundaries, such as those between scientists, the general public and decision makers," Schmitt-Olabisi said. "Using boundary objects, such as maps, diagrams and models, all groups involved can use these objects to have a discussion to create possible solutions."

Schmitt-Olabisi has vast experience working directly with stakeholders using participatory model-building techniques. She uses a model of a hypothetical heat wave in Detroit to illustrate the implications of climate change.

Climate change is anticipated to increase the frequency and intensity of heat waves in the Midwest, which could potentially claim hundreds or thousands of lives. Hot weather kills more people in the United States annually than any other type of natural disaster, and the impacts of heat on human health will be a major climate change adaptation challenge.

To better understand urban health systems and how they respond to heat waves, Schmitt-Olabisi's team interviewed urban planners, health officials and emergency managers. They translated those interviews into a computer model along with data from earlier Midwestern heat waves.

Participants are able to manipulate the model and watch how their changes affect the outcome of an emergency. The exercise revealed some important limitations of previous approaches to reducing deaths and hospitalizations caused by extreme heat.

"The model challenges some widely held assumptions, such as the belief that opening more cooling centers is the best solution," Schmitt-Olabisi said. "As it turns out, these centers are useless if people don't know they should go to them."

More importantly, the model provides a tool, a language that everyone can understand. It is a positive example of how system dynamics models may be used as boundary objects to adapt to climate change, she added.

Overall, Schmitt-Olabisi finds that this approach is a powerful tool for illuminating problem areas and for identifying the best ways to help vulnerable populations. Future research will focus on improving the models' accuracy as well as expanding it beyond the Midwest.

"In order for the models to be deployed to improve decision-making, more work will need be done to ensure the model results are realistic," Schmitt-Olabisi said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New finding points to potential options for attacking stem cells in triple-negative breast cancer
2. Cell division finding could boost understanding of cancer
3. Finding Israels first camels
4. Findings point to potential treatment for virus causing childhood illnesses
5. Findings bolster fibers role in colon health
6. New breast cancer stem cell findings explain how cancer spreads
7. Spinal cord findings could help explain origins of limb control
8. Finding about classic suppressor of immunity points toward new therapies for bad infections
9. In surprise finding, blood clots absorb bacterial toxin
10. New finding shows that mother sharks home to their birthplace to give birth, like salmon and sea turtles
11. Great lakes waterfowl die-offs: Finding the source
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of ... ended December 31, 2015. --> ... increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to ... was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... Software, the world-leading supplier of image data management solutions ... data management solution OMERO Plus for the newly established ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160125/325328LOGO ... analysis measures the characteristics and behavior of cells, tissues ... as health and disease, the presence or absence of ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... 21, 2016 --> ... market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology ... (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion ... USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... with Singapore-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) and its affiliate Global Medical ... the latest adipose and bone marrow therapies. , Through the new collaboration, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... FALLS, N.J. , Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a biotechnology company specializing in the development and ... health of damaged tissues and organs, recently reported ... for the first quarter of 2016. ... began the new 2015 fiscal year in the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell Consulting, Inc. announced that Frédéric ... he will focus on acquiring new accounts and work closely with existing Tunnell clients ... “Fred brings to our European clients more than 15 years of experience in the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016  DNAtrix, a clinical stage, biotechnology ... that its lead product, DNX-2401, has been ... orphan medicinal product for the treatment of ... strikes approximately 25,000 people a year in ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160208/330986LOGO --> http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160208/330986LOGO ...
Breaking Biology Technology: