The Sustainability Institute launched the Climate Scoreboard this week as the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen.   The Scorecard interactive online tool is designed to enable the public,  journalists and other interested parties to view daily update on how much future warming would be avoided if commitments and proposals currently under consideration were to be incorporated in a global treaty and fully implemented.

Prior to the opening of the Copenhagen Conference, the Climate Scoreboard showed 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.

“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, ” said Dr. Elizabeth Sawin of Sustainability Institute.

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.  Below is a short video of how US Senator John Kerry is using the Scoreboard results.

Scoreboard Video – Check out a four minute motion graphics and data visualization video explaining the Climate Scoreboard. Click the triangle “play” button to watch.

The Climate Scoreboard Video from Climate Interactive on Vimeo.


The chart below is based on current publicly reported proposals, as of November 29, 2009.
Proposals Summary Nov09

Click here to download the complete spreadsheet, including references for all proposals.

© 2009 – 2010, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.