Earth system modelling with complex dynamic human societies: the copan:CORE World-Earth modeling framework

Possible future trajectories of the Earth system in the Anthropocene are determined by the increasing entanglement of processes operating in the physical, chemical and biological systems of the planet, as well as in human societies, their cultures and economies. Here, we introduce the copan:CORE open source software library
that provides a framework for developing, composing and running World-Earth models,
i.e., models of social-ecological co-evolution up to planetary scales. It is an object-oriented software package written in Python designed for different user roles. It allows model end users to run parallel simulations with already available and tested models. Furthermore, model composers are enabled to easily implement new models by plugging together a broad range of model components, such as opinion formation on social networks, generic carbon cycle dynamics, or simple vegetation growth. For the sake of a modular structure, each provided component specifies a meaningful yet minimal collection of closely related processes. These processes can be formulated in terms of various process types, such as ordinary differential equations, explicit or implicit functions, as well as steps or events of deterministic or stochastic fashion. In addition to the already included variety of different components in copan:CORE, model developers can extend the framework with additional components that are based on elementary entity types, i.e., grid cells, individuals and social systems, or the fundamental process taxa environment, social metabolism, and culture. To showcase possible usage we present an exemplary World-Earth model that combines a variety of model components and interactions thereof.
As the framework allows a simple activation and deactivation of certain components and related processes, users can test for their specific effects on modeling results and evaluate model robustness in a controlled way. Hence, copan:CORE allows developing process-based models of global change and sustainable development in planetary social-ecological systems and thus fosters a better understanding of crucial mechanisms governing the co-evolutionary dynamics between societies and the natural environment. Due to its modular structure, the framework enhances the development and application of stylized models in Earth system science but also climatology, economics, ecology, or sociology, and allows combining them for interdisciplinary studies at the interface between different areas of expertise.

Jonathan F. Donges, Jobst Heitzig, Wolfram Barfuss, Johannes A. Kassel, Tim Kittel, Jakob J. Kolb, Till Kolster, Finn Muller-Hansen, Ilona M. Otto, Marc Wiedermann, Kilian B. Zimmerer and Wolfgang Lucht
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 18:45 to 19:00


The official Hotel of the Conference is
Makedonia Palace.

Conference Organiser: NBEvents

The official travel agency of the Conference is: Air Maritime

Photo of Thessaloniki seafront courtesy of Juli Bellou
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