December 2, 2009 by Andrew P. Jones
The Climate Scoreboard is a new, easily accessible tool for understanding and tracking the global climate change negotiations in real time.
This new online resource — an embeddable widget, a short video, and a set of graphs and a table — reports, on a daily basis, the long-term climate implications of proposals to the United Nations negotiations in Copenhagen.
The Scoreboard team will follow the negotiations in Copenhagen from day to day, and continue tracking progress in the months following the conference, addressing the question: if current proposals for emissions reductions were implemented how much future warming would be avoided?
Let’s move that blue line down!
Today, in advance of the opening of the Copenhagen Conference, the Climate Scoreboard shows that, while current proposals would reduce warming in 2100 relative to a scenario with no reductions in emissions, proposals are not yet ambitious enough to limit temperature increase to 1.5-2°C (2.7-3.6°F) over pre-industrial temperatures. The Scoreboard estimates a temperature increase of 3.8°C (6.8°F) over pre-industrial if current proposals were implemented as compared to 4.8°C (8.7°F) temperature increase by 2100 without emissions reductions.
The Climate Scoreboard was created by the Climate Interactive program out of Sustainability Institute. The simulation behind it was built by SI, the Sloan School of Management at MIT and Ventana Systems.
The Scoreboard is based on the C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support) computer simulation, which is carefully calibrated to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report results. C-ROADS emerged from research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and allows users to input mitigation proposals for China, India, the US, the European Union, and other nations and regions. It then simulates these emissions’ impacts on greenhouse gas concentrations, temperature change, per-capita emissions, cumulative emissions, sea level rise and other indicators. More information on the simulator is available here.
C-ROADS has been used in strategic planning sessions for decision makers from government, business and social organizations and in interactive role-playing policy exercises.
“The Climate Scoreboard helps make sense of what is happening in the climate treaty process. It helps negotiators, political leaders non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens understand the state of the negotiations. All of us have a stake in these negotiations, and the reporting, which will be continuously updated during the Copenhagen conference, will help us track how close the negotiations are to achieving their goals.”
Contact for interviews:
Dr. Elizabeth Sawin, Climate Interactive Program, Sustainability Institute
+1-802-436-1277 X 103 (office) +1-603-715-0116 (mobile)****
“This capability [C-ROADS], had it been available to me when we negotiated Kyoto, would have yielded a different outcome”
—Tim Wirth, President, UN Foundation, and former U.S. Senator
“More chilling is the computer modeling [the C-ROADS team] did against the current plans of every single country that is planning to do anything, and it’s not that big a group… They took all of these current projections and ran the computer models against what is currently happening in the science. And in every single case, it showed that we are not just marginally above a catastrophic tipping point level. We are hugely, significantly above it.”
— U.S. Senator John Kerry
“The results [of C-ROADS] have been very helpful to our team here at the U.S. State Department….The simulator’s quick and accurate calculation of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperatures has been a great asset to us. …I have made use of the results in both internal discussions, and in the international negotiations….”
— Jonathan Pershing, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, U.S. Department of State
“For the first time, with C-ROADS, we have a way to capture on the spot the implications of the key decisions that will be made around the follow-up to Kyoto, with sobering and powerful results.”
— Dr. Jacqueline McGlade, Exec. Director, European Environment Agency