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Interdisciplinary Cooperation And System Modelling As Means To Govern The Anthropocene
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7037-5348
Section for Sustainable Transitions, Department of Planning, Aalborg University, A.C.Meyers Vænge 15, Copenhagen SV, Denmark .
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, international society for the systems sciences (ISSS) , 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The global development has now come to a critical state where humanity act as a new geological force and it is obvious that there are numerous of environmental problems which arise from the present geosphere-biosphere-anthroposphere interactions which urgently need to be addressed. This paper argues that systems analysis and modelling of environmental systems is one necessary part in successful governing of societies towards sustainability. In the 1960th many observations and data made it evident that the environment in most countries was in a bad state. To get a holistic view of the complex problems and to clarify the relationships of structure and function, systems thinking was applied e.g. modelling, cybernetics, systems analysis, life cycle assessment and energy and material flow analysis. Such tools used collectively, conceptualized as ‘integrated assessment’, can help to communicate fundamental knowledge, and to support decision-making when identifying, developing and implementing precautionary measures and solutions. There are good examples demonstrating the strength of such approaches; Solutions to the ozone depletion by replacing CFC’s with more chemically reactive compounds that are degraded within the troposphere. Acidification of European low buffer soils and lakes, sensitive to acid rain, has decreased due to concerted action on Sulphur emission control in large parts of Europe. The handling and recycling of solid waste has resulted in a considerable reduction of deposits in large parts of the world. This basically natural scientific knowledge has also influenced the development within e.g. economy and jurisprudence and today ecological economy and environmental law assume ecological systems as fundamental.

The complexity of ecosystems and environmental issues can only be understood by use of advanced scientific tools such as modelling as a base for establishing interdisciplinary co-operation. Each component of such models will of course be an approximation, but validation and verification of the models will serve to make them useful. An ongoing research project at Mid Sweden University aims at building a complete carbon and energy balance model of an entire Swedish region, based on the Danish Samsø-model. Such models will make it possible to refer to a robust scientific base, thereby making it easier to argue for appropriate measures and actions. At the same time it will be clear what data these actions rest upon thereby making it easier to identify possible errors or limitations.

Systems analysis and subsequent modes are constructs. According to systems theory and model development they are strategies as the best representations of nature, we can make. At the same time it must be assured, that a continuous adaptation and improvement in a studied area is possible - i.e. that model outcomes are matched with phenomenological observations and that empirical work also is carried out. Model development can therefore be characterized as a dynamic and iterative process.

Governance in the Anthropocene must be based on an understanding of the problem picture at hand, and learning how to appropriately address increasingly complex issues. For identifying potential solutions and consequences of policy implementation, systems modelling on relevant levels will be one necessary tool. The current project developing an environmental regional model, illustrates how modelling can provide decision support for the county of Jämtland regarding management of energy resources and planning of future infrastructure, as well as serving regional and national information purposes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
international society for the systems sciences (ISSS) , 2015.
Keywords [en]
Integrated Assessment, Regional sustainability, Governing Anthropocene, Ecological modelling, Interdisciplinary cooperation
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-25797Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84976466711OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-25797DiVA, id: diva2:849203
Conference
59th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences; Scandic Berlin Potsdamer PlatzBerlin; Germany; 2 August 2015 through 7 August 2015; Code 121844
Available from: 2015-08-27 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2018-11-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An evaluation of regional sustainability by analysing energy and carbon flows – A study of Jämtland, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An evaluation of regional sustainability by analysing energy and carbon flows – A study of Jämtland, Sweden
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Models showing the anthropogenic and natural flows of two sustainability indicators; carbon based GHG and energy (as work energy) have been made for the Swedish region Jämtland. The methodology used was inspired by the study sustainability analysis conducted on the small Danish island Samsø using the above two indicators. The aim was to upscale the methodology used for Samsø and make necessary adaptations for Jämtland in order to be able to evaluate sustainability in terms of global warming. We also wanted to study the linkages between research, education and regional sustainability initiatives. Working at a regional level has advantages compared to working at a national or global level, as socio-ecological processes can be covered more extensively to reach a deeper understanding of practical aspects. In parallel to this we have also been participating in local and regional sustainability activities to increase our understanding of practical approaches and human behaviour.

Studies of the energy flows in Jämtland show that 46,000 TJ (88% renewable) flows into the region and about 31,000 TJ is exported. The remaining 15,000 TJ (63% renewable) drives ‘the machine Jämtland’. Added to this is about 4000TJ as matter. The total global warming potential (GWP20) impact of Jämtland (as carbon dioxide equivalents, CO 2eq ) indicating influence on the global mean temperature as radiative forcing) is an annual uptake of 2.4 Mton. The total regional emissions, as CO 2eq, from anthropogenic activities, including consumption, are 1500 kton. The region has large emissions of methane, 80kton (6700 kton CO 2eq ), mainly from mires, lakes and animals but also large uptakes of CO2 from assimilation in woody biomass.

Jämtland can be regarded as relatively sustainable from several perspectives, but taking the large forests and a population of only 127,000 inhabitants into consideration, the total uptake of CO 2eq is not very large and of the 15,000 TJ driving Jämtland, 37% comes from non-renewable sources. From a national (and global) perspective Jämtland needs to perform better, in view of its considerable reserves of natural resources. How to increase long-term sustainability in the region is a complex issue that requires penetration from many perspectives. Modelling results presented here needs to be interpreted in a broader sustainability context, together with regional stakeholders, to serve as a base for future knowledge development and sustainability activities.

Abstract [sv]

Två modeller har utvecklats för att studera antropogena och naturliga flöden av energi (exergi) och kolbaserade växthusgasflöden i Jämtland. Metodiken har inspirerats av en metodik för att göra hållbarhetsanalyser som genomförts för den lilla danska ön Samsø utifrån dessa båda indikatorer. Att arbeta på regional nivå har fördelar gentemot att arbeta på en nationell eller global nivå eftersom man har större möjligheter att gå ned på djupet både gällande samhälleliga processer och ekologiska processer. Kopplingen mellan siffror och faktiska skeenden blir tydligare. Parallellt med arbetet med de regionala modellerna har vi också deltagit i lokalt och regionalt arbete för att förståelsen omkring praktiska angreppssätt och mänskligt beteende.

Studien av energiflöden i Jämtland visar att 46.000 TJ (varav 88% förnyelsebart) flödar in i regionen och 31.000 TJ exporteras ut och att resterande 15.000 TJ (varav 63% förnyelsebart) driver maskineriet Jämtland. Till detta kommer omkring 4000 TJ i form av material. Den totala GWP20-påverkan från Jämtland är ’kylande’ och motsvarar ett upptag av koldioxid-ekvivalenter årligen på 2.4 Mton, vilket ungefär motsvarar emissionen från225.000 genomsnittssvenskar. De totala antropogena emissionerna av CO 2eq , inklusive konsumtion, är 1500 kton. Regionen uppvisar betydande emissioner av metan, 80 kton (motsvarande 6700 kton CO 2eq ) från sjöar, myrar och våtmarker samt djur.

Jämtland kan ur flera perspektiv betraktas som relativt hållbart, men tar man de enorma skogsarealerna och den i ett internationellt perspektiv blygsamma befolkningen på 127 000 personer i beaktande är hållbarheten mindre övertygande. Vidare är 37% av den energi som driver Jämtland faktiskt icke-förnyelsebar. Sett ur ett globalt perspektiv och med hänvisning till Jämtlands enorma naturresurser behöver Jämtland prestera bättre. Hur man skall kunna öka den långsiktiga hållbarheten är en komplex fråga som kräver belysning från flera olika perspektiv. Resultat som de som presenteras här måste tolkas tillsammans med regionala intressenter i ett bredare hållbarhetssammanhang för att kunna utarbeta lämpliga implementeringsstrategier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2018. p. 39
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 145
Keywords
Regional sustainability, Energy flows, Exergy, Carbon GHG fluxes, Sustainability indicators, carbon dioxide emissions, methane emissions, nature emissions
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34896 (URN)978-91-88527-74-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-12-14, G3213, Mittuniversitetet, Akademigatan 1, 831 25 ÖSTERSUND, Östersund, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Interreg Sweden-Norway, SMICE
Note

Vid tidpunkten för framläggningen av avhandlingen var följande delarbete opublicerat: delarbete 4 (manuskript).

At the time of the defence the following paper was unpublished: paper 4 (manuscript).

Available from: 2018-11-16 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2018-11-22Bibliographically approved

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Skytt, TorbjörnGrönlund, ErikStåhl, FredrikJonsson, AndersCarlman, IngaFröling, Morgan

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