No one can doubt that the topic of climate change is as complex as it is contentious. The notion that we could achieve an international agreement given the diversity of needs, conditions and aspirations of over 150 countries is overwhelmingly ambitious. But that's exactly what's happening in Copenhagen and we can watch the results of their efforts unfold before their eyes thanks to the development of a powerful simulation model - C-ROADS - being used by negotiators this coming week.
The Climate Scoreboard is an online tool that allows the public, journalists and other interested parties to track progress in the ongoing negotiations to produce an international climate treaty. The Scoreboard automatically reports, on a daily basis, whether proposals in the treaty process commit countries to enough greenhouse gas emissions reductions to achieve widely expressed goals, such as limiting future warming to 1.5 to 2.0°C (2.7 to 3.6°F) above pre-industrial temperatures.
The same team have produced a simulation (C-LEARN) that enables anyone to play "what if?". It's a fantastic teaching tool and awareness raiser and, if any educators are reading this, then I suggest you use. All of us need to become carbon literate and this tool helps show not just the size of the challenge but its inter-connected complexity. The simulator does not yet show which sectors and activities contribute to climate change but it's only a matter of time before one comes available. Click on the title and you'll be linked to the real thing! The video is worth a view too - see button on widget!The C-Lean Simulation Tool (instructions, if you need them, are here)