- Water Quality
- Land Use
Environmental Science Institute
- Systems Modeling software
- The STELLA® package - free runtime available for viewing models presented on this web site
- Human Dimension
- "active learning" modules on the human dimensions of global change
- El Niño
- See CNN's El Niño Special for news and updates!
- Glossary - global change vocabulary
- Compiled by the Pacific Institute. See also the Global Change Abbreviations and Acronynms compiled by the GCRIO (Global Change Research Information Office).
NOTE: These projects are works in progress.
They display varying levels of ecological understanding.
Please contact the individual authors before using this material in your classroom or for your homework!
- 26. Changes in the carbon cycle due to deforestation and fossil fuel consumption in the U.S. using STELLA® modelling
- by Martha Mersereau, Florence Duarte, Anna Zareba-Kowalska.
It is generally agreed that deforestation initiates local changes, but there are varying opinions as to the likely effect of deforestation on the global hydrological cycle and global climatic change. Deforestation on a global scale since 1890 has greatly contributed to the total release of carbon. Carbon dioxide is one of the most important greenhouse gases and is responsible for about 60 percent of the enhanced greenhouse warming. Its atmospheric concentration has increased tremendously since the industrial revolution. However, at present carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere seems to be increasing primarily due to increased use of fossil fuels. The purpose of this project was to examine the effects of human activities such as deforestation and increased fossil fuel burning in the United States on the carbon cycle in the U.S. using STELLA® modeling.
- 27. The carbon cycle and environmental issues: STELLA® model building as a teaching tool
- by Florence Duarte.
This project focuses on the process of building two new STELLA® models, one to study forest recovery rates, the other to study global carbon cycles and associated environmental issues. The models presented are examples of models that could be developed in a high school classroom studying environmental issues. They are not finished products, but works-in-progress requiring further definition and testing. The central idea is that model building is the more valuable teaching tool, rather than using a finished model.
The systems approach and the attempt to build formal models encourage disciplined analysis and theory development. Modeling forces us to dissect a system into its smallest details and to evaluate the significance of components. Modeling helps us find patterns in seemingly random events and make predictions for outcomes. A well-conceived model must behave plausibly under extreme conditions and should be tested against what we can observe in the real world. This leads to asking questions about what the limiting conditions are to any particular trend or behavior.
- 53. Risk assessment for natural hazards (coastal erosion)
- by Linda Padwa, Joe Mahood.
Natural forces such as wind, waves and currents are constantly shaping the coastal regions. In addition to the daily, slow sculpting of the coast, several other factors result in changes to coasts. Amongst these are winter storms, hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis which result in major coastal changes over very short time periods. These are referred to as catastrophic events because of the extensive damage that is caused and the unpredictable nature of the event. People have been struggling to control the destructive forces associated with the everyday erosion of the coast, as well as the catastrophic events. This project provides an overview of the issues associated with coastal erosion and the measures being taken to reduce effects of catastrophic events on the U.S. East Coast.
Abstracts by Linda Padwa.