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Some components included in an integrated human-natural systems model to capture feedbacks among human-caused drivers and natural systems at the regional and global scale.
Some components included in an integrated human-natural systems model to capture feedbacks among human-caused drivers and natural systems at the regional and global scale.

Earth systems models view the world as a complex series of interactions between different forces. For example, natural water supplies are important to both farmers and power plant operators. The decisions farmers and powerplant operators make, in turn, affect rivers and streams. Scientists use Multi-sector Dynamics Modeling (MSD) to explore the interactions and interdependencies among human and natural systems. These systems are complex and adaptive, and they interact and co-evolve in response to short-term shocks and long-term influences and stresses. Interactions occur at local to global scales and influences often transfer across scales. Interactions across these systems often respond to stresses in non-linear ways. These systems can experience cascading effects or failures after crossing tipping points. By improving our understanding of interrelated systems, we better understand the potential trajectories, vulnerabilities, responses, and resilience of those systems. We would also better understand the structure, function, and evolution of the complex human-environmental landscapes that embody these systems.

MSD often includes representations of energy, water and land systems, infrastructure, natural resources, economies, technologies, populations, climate, and weather patterns and extremes. MSD’s strength—and biggest challenge—is how it links socioeconomic, physical, engineering, and Earth system components in risk and decision-making frameworks.

DOE Office of Science & Multi-Sector Dynamics Modeling

The Office of Science (SC) supports MSD in part by fostering broad scientific use of these methods. For example, SC encourages scientists to share data and develop open-source models. These steps help tools serve the needs of many users working with many different systems.

Multi-Sector Dynamics Modeling Facts

Resources and Related Terms

 

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