Thursday, January 23, 2014

Choosing Model Scenarios offers users the ability to alter the ecosystems in their vision extent- but beyond that, it also allows users to change the climate and lifestyle choices of people within their area of interest.

Possible climate scenarios include the past climate of 1609, the present climate, and three future climate projections for 2020, 2050, and 2080. Changing between these climate scenarios allows users another way to explore how the ecosystems in their vision interact with environmental factors. Users can also select different precipitation events for their vision (ranging from a clear day to a severe storm) to see how different amounts of precipitation affect an area's environmental performance.

The table view showing a side-by-side comparison of each climate scenario and the parameter values associated with each one.

Changing the climate scenario also changes the 100-year flood line, shown above as the light blue line. This line depicts how high floodwaters would rise in a 100-year storm given the climate scenario I have selected. 

Similarly, users can change the lifestyle of people living in their vision extent. Lifestyle determines transportation and fuel type preferences, as well as residential density, waste production, and a whole slew of other factors. When creating a vision, it is important to remember that how people interact with their environment is just as important in determining environmental performance as what that environment is composed of. Possible lifestyle types include average New Yorker, average American, average Earthling, Eco-hipster, and Lenape person. A complete breakdown of the environmental factors that vary by lifestyle can be found by clicking on the "i" icon next to lifestyle in the Lifestyle/Climate Selectors menu.

As with climate scenarios, you can compare different lifestyles- and the effects that each lifestyle has on the environment- in a table view.

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