Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.52
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Aug. 10, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Lowell
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Juliette Rooney-Varga
Director & Associate Professor
Climate Change Initiative & Biological Sciences
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
World Climate Simulation

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The World Climate exercise is a systems thinking role playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations for groups. It is unique in that it uses an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of the mock-negotiations during the event. All the materials and tools for World Climate are available for free and many are available in multiple languages.

During World Climate participants take on a role, make decisions, and explore the implications of their decisions on the physical world through a computer simulation. This approach is ideal for learning about coupled human-natural systems, such as climate change, in which both the social aspects of decision-making and the physical-technical system (e.g., the energy and climate systems) are complex. Role-play enables people to learn about the social dynamics of decision-making, while an interactive computer simulation yields insights into the impacts those decisions have on complex physical-technical systems.

The backbone of World Climate runs on the C-ROADS computer simulation that helps individuals and negotiators understand the long-term climate impacts of policy scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It allows for the rapid summation of national greenhouse gas reduction pledges in order to show the long-term impact on our climate.

C-ROADS was developed by a team from Climate Interactive, Ventana Systems, UMass Lowell’s Climate Change Initiative, and MIT. The name “C-ROADS” stands for “Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support” simulator. C-ROADS is easily used by non-modelers, and runs in less than 0.1 second on a laptop computer. It has undergone a scientific review from an independent team of respected climate scientists, climate modelers, and system dynamicists.

Director of the Climate Change Initiative at UMass Lowell, Dr. Juliette Rooney-Varga, is a key collaborator on the project and spearheading it’s use around the world. Dr. Rooney-Varga utilizes World Climate in all of her classes and most notably used it in 2015 at the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 in Paris with other climate scientists and negotiating groups.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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