Global Models, The Biospheric Approach (Theory of the Noosphere)

Moiseev NN, Aleksandrov VV, Krapivin VF, Lotov AV, Svirezhev YM, & Tarko AM (1983). Global Models, The Biospheric Approach (Theory of the Noosphere). IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-83-033


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The problem of the coevolution of mankind and the biosphere, i.e., the relationship between the process of the evolution of the biosphere and the evolution of human activity which provides a homeostasis for human civilization, has become one of the principal problems of human ecology.

The first step in an extensive program of interdisciplinary research is the creation of a system of mathematical models which would serve as a framework for planning international research programs.

The research described herein has two stages. The first stage, a still primitive system of models was constructed and analyzed, using systems dynamics techniques. This system of models, outlined in the second section of the paper, has already helped the authors in their contacts with experts in biology, soil science, etc., and the creation of an information base has in essence, turned into a discussion of plans for future work. Studies connected with simulating the evolution of the biosphere were developed in three directions: simulation of processes of a biotic nature, simulation of climate, and simulation of human activity.

Experimental results obtained using this system in the "if...then" mode, may be helpful for understanding, at least on a qualitative basis, possible impacts of human activity on the evolution of the biosphere assuming that the present day trends remain unchanged. This system of models is at present programmed at IIASA and is ready to be used for simulation experiments.

The second step in the research is based on an understanding of the fact that the systems dynamic approach is not sufficient for the elaboration and study of the system of models which describes human activity. Furthermore, it is necessary to analyze and coordinate models developed by experts in varied branches of science -- biologists, climatologists, economists, etc. Thus, it is necessary to elaborate new mathematical techniques that can be used in the investigation of global coevolution problems. Some principles for the development of these techniques were formulated at the Computing Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences and are presented herein. The three main principles are:

(1) Linear parametrization of comprehensive submodels;

(2) Models of human activity are split into two levels -- the decision-making level and the technological level -- and a description of the system of models at the technological level only;

(3) Analysis and coordination of the system of models by constructing a set of all reachable values of performance indices (The Generalized Reachable Sets Approach).

The linear parametrization procedure for a climate model which is essentially the Mintz-Arakawa global atmospheric circulation model as described by Gates et al. (1971) and modified to account for the climatic trends due to the influence of anthropogenic factors, is described in the third section of the paper.

The problems of modeling human activity and the main features of the Generalized Reachable Sets approach, as well as the general scheme of analysis of global biospheric models, are presented in the fourth section of the paper.

This work, which is now in the early stages, calls for a great deal of scientific effort over a long period of time. The authors anticipate that the importance of the research in this direction will be internationally recognized and supported.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Resources and Environment Area (REN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:53
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2016 11:27

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