Science Notes (Page 2)
Here are some notes on how the data in the game were collected, and the assumptions that were made.
Personal Energy Scenario
Two sources were mainly used for this scenario:
In order to scale up the household-level emissions reductions to a national scale, we used information about the average home from the EDF home carbon calculator and also from the book by Chris Goodall, How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, which was also useful for a lot of the other information in this scenario.
Impacts and Adaptations
The potential impacts of climate change, which appear in the game as hovering sea mines, are taken from two sources. Firstly, the IPCC Working Group 2 report on Impacts and Adaptation. A new version of this report is being released later in 2007, so the previous report from 2001, and the new Summary for Policymakers, released in advance of the new version, were used to create the list of impacts of climate change.
The reactions to the impacts of climate change are taken from the same two sources, the IPCC Working Group 2 reports, and UKCIP reports, in particular Identifying Adaptation Options. Common sense provided a large number of the reactions, especially to ensure the player always has a choice about whether or not they want to respond favourably to a particular impact!
The other impacts, which show up when the player uses too much or too little of a particular policy, are based on known consequences of various technologies eg. controversy over burying of nuclear waste, or concerns that droughts may render hydroelectric power plants unusable.
Emissions and Temperature Change
A player's carbon dioxide emissions from each scenario are used to calculate a possible global temperature change, to illustrate to the player the impact of what they've done in the game. In order to show what impact their actions could have, the emissions from the scenario are scaled up to a global level so the temperature change given to them represents what might happen if all sectors of society, in the whole world managed the same carbon dioxide emissions change. This may seem unrealistic and over-simplified, but it allows the player to see the full possible impact of their actions.
Since the changes in carbon dioxide emissions are not expected to vary very significantly from the A1B
scenario carbon dioxide baseline, a relatively simple equation was used to generate temperature change
from the player's cumulative emissions at 2050 and 2100.