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:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance ... Gino ... we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data captured ... engineering platform, detected a statistically significant association ... prior to treatment and objective response of ... potential to predict whether cancer patients will ... treatment, as well as to improve both pre-infusion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2017)... , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... organization (CRO) has validated a 0.2 ng/mL lower limit (LLOQ) assay for nicotine ... 0.5 ng/mL LLOQ assay, the ultra-low trace nicotine assay meets additional needs of ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... today announced their digital pathology technology has the potential to eliminate subjectivity in ... centers in The Netherlands as part of the 2017 ISBI CAMELYON Digital ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Arrowhead Publishers is pleased to ... coming to San Diego, CA on September 27-28, 2017. Leaders from the pharmaceutical, ... advances in the treatment of various types of pain. There are also extended ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... Orleans, La. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Monitoring Technologies today announced a comprehensive rebrand and a name change to ... for the industrial and laboratory monitoring of polymer and biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: