This project will advance understanding of complexity in climate-societal dynamics by applying cyber-enabled multiagent systems models integrated with evolutionary computation algorithms. The research will develop, validate, and analyze new computational agent-based models as transformative tools for simulating human societies spatially situated in regions with diverse ecosystems and explicit climate dynamics. The new suite of models will focus on two geographic regions where climate change has significant consequences for humans and ecosystems: Sub-Saharan Africa (over a billion people at high risk of displacement, disease, starvation) and the Arctic Circumboreal region (where the fastest ecological changes are now occurring with shifting patterns comparable to earlier major climate events).
The project forges interdisciplinary collaboration among anthropologists, political scientists, earth scientists, and computer scientists to advance the science of complex adaptive systems. The core intellectual merit of the project is its contribution to basic understanding of multiscale complexity in climate-society dynamics, by creating a cyber-enabled integrated computational framework for modeling, simulating, and exploring scenarios. Spatial multiagent systems will be created that include climate dynamics as well as other natural hazards and stressors with direct and indirect effects on social dynamics composed of households and governance institutions.
Broader impacts from this project will include (1) new cross-disciplinary understanding of climate-society dynamics, (2) new computational tools; (3) new policy-relevant insights derived via scenario analysis with such tools; (4) innovations in new advanced forms of hybrid computational modeling, enabling new collaborations across disciplines; (5) new support for innovative forms of teaching, training, and learning through computational modeling of complex socio-ecological systems; (6) and multi-institutional opportunities for students from underrepresented groups via classroom visits and museum exhibits. Perpetual archiving of all electronic materials (code and data) will be implemented through the Smithsonian data archiving initiative.