GCF Working Paper 03/2018: Distributed Agent Graph

[by S. Fuerst, A. Geiges] ||

In the Global System Science (GSS) field simulations of Agent Based Models (ABM) can be challenging regarding the needed computer resources, so that it’s necessary to run the simulation on computer clusters. The existing HPC ready ABM frameworks does not fit well to the structure of GSS models. This paper proposes a parallelization strategy that take GSS needs into consideration and tries to find a good balance between the needs of the modeler and restrictions that enables a good scalability. It represent the model structure as a directed multi-graph, where spatial information is added as nodes. Existing hypergraph partitioning software can then be used the distribute the agents to the different processing elements.


The paper can be downloaded here: GCF_WorkingPaper3-2018



New paper by K. Lucas, O. Renn, C. Jaeger and S. Yang: “Systemic Risks: A Homomorphic Approach on the Basis of Complexity Science”

Klaus Lucas, Ortwin Renn, Carlo Jaeger and Saini Yang build on a domain-overarching definition of systemic risks by highlighting crucial properties that distinguish them from conventional risks and plain disasters. They place emphasis on the
role of complexity science as a basis for unifying the phenomena of systemic risks in widely different domains.

Published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, this is the third paper of K. Lucas, O. Renn and C. Jaeger of their trilogy on systemic risks. Accessible here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13753-018-0185-6

Previously published papers are: (1) Renn, O., Lucas, K., Haas, A., Jaeger, C. (2017 online): Things are different today: the challenge of global systemic risks. – Journal of Risk Research, p. 1-15.DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2017.1409252. and (2) Lucas, K., Renn, O., Jaeger, C. (2018 online): Systemic Risks: Theory and Mathematical Modeling. – Advanced Theory and Simulations, 1800051.DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/adts.201800051.

Global Coastal Wetlands Need to Move Inland in Fight Against Climate Change

Up to 30 per cent of coastal wetlands could be lost globally by the year 2100 with a dramatic effect on global warming and coastal flooding, if action is not taken to protect them, new research warns.

The global study, led by researchers at the University of Lincoln, UK, suggests that the future of global coastal wetlands, including tidal marshes and mangroves, could be secured if they were able to migrate further inland.

Geographers examined localised data from around the globe on coastal elevation, tides, sediment availability, coastal population and estimates of sea level rise to assess whether coastal wetlands are likely to have enough sediment to increase their elevation at the rate sea levels will rise, or whether there is enough space to establish themselves further inland.

The results show there could be global coastal wetland gains of up to 60 per cent if more than a third of the areas had space to move inland. The use of more localised data provides more accurate global results than previous estimates which warned of catastrophic losses of up to 90 per cent – but scientists say action must be taken now to save coastal wetlands from ever increasing sea levels.

The findings of the study have important implications for the future development of public policies, with the authors calling for an upscale in current efforts for coastal wetland restoration.

Coastal wetlands have a direct impact on global warming levels by helping to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They are also an important form of coastal protection, reducing the energy of waves and the intensity of storm surges, thereby reducing coastal erosion and coastal flooding.

The research was led by Dr Mark Schuerch from the University of Lincoln’s School of Geography in collaboration with the universities of Cambridge and Southampton in the UK; University of Antwerp in Belgium; Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel and Humboldt-University in Germany; Monash University in Australia; the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre; and the Global Climate Forum.

Dr Schuerch said: “Rather than being an inevitable consequence of global rising sea levels, our findings indicate that large-scale coastal wetland loss might be avoidable if sufficient additional space can be created by increasing the number of innovative ‘nature-based adaptation’ solutions to coastal management. These enable coastal wetlands to migrate inland through displacement of coastal flood defences and the designation of nature reserve buffers in upland areas surrounding coastal wetlands. If these are strategically scaled up they could help coastal wetlands adapt to rising sea levels and protect rapidly increasing global coastal populations.”

Further research is now needed to improve understanding of the adaption mechanisms of coastal wetlands to see level rise, particularly their ability to migrate inland.

The full paper, Future responses of global coastal wetlands to sea level rise, has been published in the scientific journal Nature and is available to read online. Further background information is also available in Nature and ScienceNews.

GCF Working Paper 02/2018: Model-Stakeholder-Interactions for a Sustainable Mobility Transition

[by J. Mielke, A. Geiges] ||

The complexity of sustainability transitions calls for transdisciplinary dialogue processes among dierent stakeholder groups. When policy options are discussed with decision-makers, scientists often support them with the help of quantitative outputs provided by simulation models. With the increasing complexity of models in times of big data and high-performance computing, making the model and its parameters transparent and integrating them into stakeholder dialogues is essential for successful and democratic decision-making processes. Furthermore, such integration allows for the discussion of a broader variety of pathways or scenarios supplied by models. Read more

New paper by K. Lucas, O. Renn and C. Jaeger on “Systemic Risks: Theory and Mathematical Modeling”

Klaus Lucas (Institute of Technical Thermodynamics), Ortwin Renn (Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies) and Carlo Jaeger (GCF) give a review of how insights form complexity science can be applied to the domain of systemic risks. They have identified four major properties of systemic risks: they are (1) transboundary in nature, (2) highly interconnected and intertwined leading to complex causal structures and dynamic evolutions, (3) non-linear in the cause-effect relationships showing often unknown tipping points or tipping areas and (4) stochastic in their effect structure.

The online article is published in Advanced Theory and Simulations and can be accessed on Wiley Online Library: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/adts.201800051 and here: Lucas Renn Jaeger Systemic Risks Theory and Mathematical Modeling

Citation: Lucas, K., Renn, O., Jaeger, C. (2018 online): Systemic Risks: Theory and Mathematical Modeling. – Advanced Theory and Simulations, 1800051.DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/adts.201800051.

New Paper: O. Renn, K. Lucas, A. Haas & C. Jager undertook the effort of a conceptional clarification of Systemic Risks

Ortwin Renn, Klaus Lucas, Armin Haas & Carlo C. Jaeger
Things are different today: the challenge of global systemic risks
Journal of Risk Research, DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2017.1409252 (2017)

Paper on “the ability of societies to adapt to twenty-first-century sea-level rise” by Jochen Hinkel et al. published in Nature Climate Change

Can societies adapt to 21stcentury sea-level rise?

The ability of societies around the world to adapt to 21stcentury sea-level rise (SLR) is more likely to be dependent upon social factors, including finance, than technical capabilities.

That is the conclusion of an international team of researchers lead by Dr. Jochen Hinkel from the Global Climate Forum (GCF) in Berlin and addressed in a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. Read more

Successful ICT tools for policy making

During the last years, many ICT-based tools have been developed for policy making. However, only few of them have been taken up either by policy-makers or other user groups. In order to better understand the success factors, we have conducted an extensive review of existing and successful tools such as America’s Army, MarketPlace, C-ROADS, World Climate, UrbanSim, UNEP Web Intelligence and SIMCITY. Additionally, we have incorporated our own experience in the development of ICT tools within several EU funded research projects (such as SYMPHONY). Read more

Large scale coastal protection is cost-efficient for most of the global coastal population.

Large scale investment in coastal protection is cost-efficient for 90 percent of today’s global floodplain population. This is the result of a global scale cost-benefit analysis of large-scale coastal protection performed by researchers from Global Climate Forum and published in the journal Global Environmental Change.

“Sea-level rise is occurring in many areas of the world and supposed to continue and possibly accelerate during 21st century.  Our study illustrates that large scale protection, as it is already implemented in the Netherlands and the North of Germany, is generally economically efficient for densely populated coastal areas” explains lead author Daniel Lincke from the Global Climate Forum (GCF). “This holds true for a wide range of possible future sea-level rise scenarios (30cm – 190cm in 2100), a wide range of scenarios for social and economic development (from a poor and overpopulated world to a rich and sustainable managed world) and varying assumption on intergenerational climate change cost sharing. ”

The scientists conducted local cost-benefit analysis of coastal protection for over 12,000 coastal segments covering the complete coastline of the world. For each analysis 125 combinations of sea-level rise, socio-economic development and intergenerational climate change cost sharing scenarios have been considered. While only for 13 percent of the global coastline it was found that, under every scenario combination considered, investment in coastal protection costs less then the damages resulting from not protecting the coast, this small fraction of the global coastline accounts for 90 percent of today’s global floodplain population and for 96 percent of today’s global floodplain assets. Opposite that for 65 percent of the global coastline covering only 0.2 percent of global floodplain population and 0.2 percent of global floodplain assets investment in coastal protection costs more then the damages resulting from not protecting the coast under every scenario combination considered.

“Our results shows that the majority of coastal inhabitants lives in densely-populated and urban coastal areas, and is likely to (continue to) protect itself even under high-end sea-level rise. This is due to the high benefit-cost ratios of coastal protection in these areas. On the other hand, poorer rural areas will struggle to maintain safe human settlements and are likely to eventually retreat from the coast” adds co-author Jochen Hinkel from GCF. “Nevertheless, our study shows that there is a considerable opportunity to bridge the 21st century coastal adaptation finance gap for a large part of the world’s coastal population.”

Article: Daniel Lincke, Jochen Hinkel (2018): Economically robust protection against 21st century sea-level rise. Global Environmental Change 51, July 2018, Pages 67–73.

[DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.05.003]

Report: Digitalisation of the energy transition

To achieve the desired decarbonisation of the German economy, a stronger integration of the electricity, heat and transport sectors is needed.
Digitalisation can play a key role in this process, e.g. in the fields of energy efficiency and the integration of renewables. The legal framework for the digitalization of the energy transition, is currently being developed. This short study of GCF and GeSI gives an overview of the current status of legislation and policy that link the digital and the energy world. In addition, the study assesses where the legal framework is already well developed and where adjustments are necessary.

Weblink to the study: https://globalclimateforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Gruene-Digitalisierung-FINAL-12.4.pdf