Global Resilience Metric

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Project Description

Joe Brewer:

"Throughout the last year, I have been involved in the design of regional and global institutions that will combine scientific knowledge about the dynamic Earth with visualization tools that capture the complex interactions across the natural environment and society. This work is intended to tackle the full complexities of global change head on and characterize the resilience (or lack thereof) for cities, bioregions, nations, and the globe. We recognize that a Global Resilience metric will require that massive amounts of data be integrated and simulated with the best numerical models of regional entities (e.g. river systems, fault lines, land use patterns, urban development, and so on) and global phenomena (climate change, loss of biodiversity, ocean acidification, plate tectonics, etc.).

An early attempt has been formulated by the Stockholm Resilience Centre — the Planetary Boundaries Framework — which identifies a set of nine thresholds that, if crossed, will make the planet unlivable for humans. Naturally, we don’t want this to happen. But there are less dramatic, but equally serious, risks that need to be understood if we are to put safeguards in place and respond effectively to shocks across our societal systems. Long before such an event as the collapse of algae in the world’s oceans (which would ripple up the food chain and ultimately wipe us out), we’ll have to contend with more severe weather and natural disasters that can have catastrophic global impacts as they ripple across our supply chains and harm communities the world over. It is this more subtle fragility that under girds our civilization and is notoriously difficult to characterize in a robust manner." (