Models help communities plan for climate change

Mar 11, 2014

Laura Schmitt-Olabisi's project focuses on a model of Detroit in the case of an extreme heat wave, but also the uncertainty of climate change.
Credit Flickr - Sagittariuss

Trying to determine the impacts of climate change is a difficult task. There are hundreds of different factors which could determine how communities are influenced. To more effectively understand the challenges associated with climate change, scientists are using system dynamics models. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, an ecologist and modeler at Michigan State University, about her latest project that explores how higher temperatures could impact Detroit.

Schmitt-Olabisi says one factor that make it difficult to determine the effects of climate change could have on a city like Detroit is that the decisions that people make based on climate change are often removed in time and space from where the impacts of those decision occur.