Global Risk and Opportunity Indicator

פורסם: 27 בספט׳ 2013, 9:54 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 27 בספט׳ 2013, 9:54 ]
Communicating global risk assessments based on science

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Accelerated technological, economic and social development has accomplished unprecedented change, ranging from reduced infant mortality and increased life expectancy to improved literacy and sanitation. History’s most radical visionaries did not even dare to hope for the progress we have seen. However, the change is not distributed equitably. Billions of people are living below the rich countries subsistence level.

Moreover, the processes that have created this rapid change are now also creating risks for humanity on a global scale, e.g.:
  • - Inexpensive fossil fuel has resulted in an accelerated climate change that threaten the basic living conditions for humanity.
  • - Increased global movement of people and goods allows viruses and bacteria to spread with unprecedented speed.
  • - Increased access to information, combined with technological development, means that a growing number of states and political groups can produce ever more potent biological and chemical weapons.

The number of humans have also increased fourfold during he last hundred years. By 2100 the population is expected to increase by another 50%, or almost four billion. At the same time the demand for increased living standard will grow. This will make the need for new solutions urgent as todays situation is already unsustainable.

Combined, the above means that the impact of our choices no longer only result in local and reversible consequences. For the first time in history irreversible change on a global scale – with risks so serious that they threaten human civilization as we know it – is a scientific reality.*

The individual threats are reasonably well known among policy makers, business leaders and the general public, so is the fact that many risks are increasing rapidly. The insufficient measures to address these risks clearly demonstrate that our current system is not capable of coping with significant global risks.

A tool that allow us to clearly visualize risks can help us to deepen the understanding of the problems. Thereby we can turn global risks into drivers of sustainable innovation and economic development, as well as guide deliberations about the institutional changes in global governance required to enable such positive development. It can also help us to focus on the need of immediate action.

The purpose of this project is to increase awareness about global risks and opportunities and help guide the changes required in the global governance system in order to turn risks into drivers of positive change. Toward this end, the project objective is to develop the Global Risk & Opportunity Indicator, a web-tool for illustrating quantified risks. The initial project focus is on risks related to climate change.

Expected outcomes 2013-2014

1. An interactive Global Risk & Opportunity Indicator that allows users to calculate the probability for any global warming, between one and ten degrees Celsius, at different greenhouse gas concentrations. The indicator will then be further developed to illustrate interdependencies with other global risks and highlight opportunities for solutions to manage, reduce, or even eliminate, global risks. Subsequent development will allow users to change different underlying assumptions and see the corresponding change in risk.

2. Methodology and data to estimate probabilities for a number of climate impacts at different temperature levels, e.g., sea level rise, droughts, flooding and heat waves, as well as explore the risk of runaway global warming.

3. Methodology and data to estimate the probability of existential climate threats, i.e., to estimate the risk that climate change impacts pose a significant threat to human civilization – defined as a serious negative impact on at least two billion people.

Data Probabilities and different risks

Below are links to documents that explain the data and methodologies behind the number for the global risk and opportunity indicator.

For the numbers related to exceedance probabilities for given equilibrium GHG concentration see the document: "Risk shifts under changing climate sensitivity estimates"Risk shifts under changing climate sensitivity estimates

For the risks that are used as comparison see the document "Well known risks used for comparison with global risks"Well known risks used for comparison with global risks

If you have new or additional data that you think should be included in the indicator, please contact us and attach the data you think should be added/modified.


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