Computing and Climate Change

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The Computing and Climate Change Reading Group meets every Wednesday lunchtime (12pm) in the Software Engineering lab debugging room (Third floor Bahen - BA3234). Bring your own lunch.

Our aim is to discuss books, papers, research ideas and practical projects on any aspect of climate change where computer science might have a role, whether it be in the basic science (e.g. computational models of climate), policymaking and decision support (e.g. visualizations& decision tools), or designing mitigation and adaptation solutions (e.g. green IT). We'll also spend some time exploring interdisciplinary aspects.

Everyone is welcome!


Some potential objectives:

  • Understand climate change from multiple perspectives, both academic (different disciplinary perspectives) and non-academic (e.g. culturally-based organisations, grassroots communities, etc)
  • Explore the role of computer science (as a discipline) and computer scientists (with our particular skill sets) in responding to the challenge of climate change

...and some early goals for the group:

  • familiarize ourselves with various disciplines' basic theoretical foundations
  • identify discipline specific terminology used for shared concepts, and create a catalogue of key terms and concepts
  • read articles and books from different disciplines and groups, with discussions moderated by someone from the respective area (perhaps starting with CS topics?)
  • create an annotated bibliography
  • curate a set of pointers to other web resources

Topics to discuss


Scheduled for our lunchtime meeting on June 29th, just in time for the CGCS talk on Climate Engineering by Mark Lawrence later in the day (3pm MP137). Suggested readings:

Agent Based Modeling

(Michalis: These are links were sent to me about a year ago by Michail Fragkias. I'm transcribing his comments from Greek.)

The Keystone Pipeline

When Cheryl McNamara visited on August 17, she encouraged us to write letters to President Obama, to ask him not to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Here's some background material:

Potential Readings


Background Papers

Papers mentioned during meetings

  • Daniel Gilbert, If Only Gay Sex Caused Global Warming:
  • Miron Zuckerman, Michele M. Lazzaro, and Diane Waldgeir, Undermining effects of the foot-in-the-door technique with extrinsic rewards, Journal of Applied Psychology (1979), 292–296.
  • Richard D. Katzev and Theodore R. Johnson, Comparing the effects of monetary incentives and foot-in-the-door strategies in promoting residential electricity conser- vation, Journal of Applied Psychology (1984), 12–27.
  • Karl E. Henion, The effect of ecologically relevant information on detergent sales, Journal of Marketing Research 9 (1972), no. 1, 10–14.


CO2-ink demonstration

Nature of Science part 1, 2, and 3

CBC documentary Playing God with Planet Earth

Bill McKibben article set to video

Other Resources

IEEE TCSC on Green Computing Free Online Course

Steve's CSC2600 Course on Climate Change Informatics

The IPCC FAQ collection

Past Meetings

(We're currently taking a short break, planning to start up again a few weeks into the fall term)