The transition to a low carbon economy by 2050 will involve irreversible step-changes in the cultural, economic, and natural domains. Current models of climate change and carbon emission assume the immediate past is a reasonable guide to the future. They struggle to represent the complex causal structures and time-asymmetries of many socio-natural systems. The science of complex systems distinguishes linear from non-linear dynamics. Simpler systems can often be satisfactory described by linear models, but complex systems require non-linear models that can capture more of the characteristics of such systems, such as thresholds, feedback loops, avalanche effects, and irreversibility.
COMPLEX will integrate the quasi-classic models of meso-scale processes with our best understanding of fine-grained space-time patterns and the system-flips that are likely to occur in the long interval between now and 2050. We believe the sub-national region is the key point of entry for studying climate change and its cause-effect interrelations. It is small enough to be sensitive to local factors, large enough to interact with supra-national agencies and stable enough to be historically and culturally distinctive. In addition to undertaking case studies in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain and Italy, We will develop a suite of modeling tools and decision-support systems to inform national and supra-national policy and support communities across Europe working to make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Last edited: 06 December 2013
Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program
01.10.2012 - 01.10.2016
Complex Project Website
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313