The subject of this course is the analysis of interactions within human-environment systems.The students will learn to develop energy scenarios, guided by different natural and social constraints and aims in a simple optimisation model. We then appraise the relative merits of the different scenarios using multi-criteria analysis.
In the practical course Anthroposphere students learn how to analyze the interactions in human-environment-systems with scientific tools. Methods from the natural sciences and social sciences are applied and linked with each other.
Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is a widely used methodology for providing guidance to decision-makers on problems touching many different aspects of people's lives, where it is impossible or undesirable to reduce all outcomes associated with a particular choice to monetary values. In the MCA problem that forms the heart of this course is the question of climate change. Students will gain practice at writing computer simulation models, ultimately developing a simplified model linking together the global energy system and the climate, in order to quantify the tradeoffs between human energy consumption and climate impacts. Using this model it will be possible to identify a number of different effects on society associated with alternative energy system scenarios. Using data on preferences and values collected via surveys, it will be possible to rank the relative attractiveness of the alternatives.