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Understanding Global Systems Today—A Calibration of the World3-03 Model between 1995 and 2012

Author

Listed:
  • Roberto Pasqualino

    (Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK)

  • Aled W. Jones

    (Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK)

  • Irene Monasterolo

    (The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University, 67 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, USA)

  • Alexander Phillips

    (Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK)

Abstract

In 1972 the Limits to Growth report was published. It used the World3 model to better understand the dynamics of global systems and their relationship to finite resource availability, land use, and persistent pollution accumulation. The trends of resource depletion and degradation of physical systems which were identified by Limits to Growth have continued. Although World3 forecast scenarios are based on key measures and assumptions that cannot be easily assessed using available data ( i.e. , non-renewable resources, persistent pollution), the dynamics of growth components of the model can be compared with publicly available global data trends. Based on Scenario 2 of the Limits to Growth study, we present a calibration of the updated World3-03 model using historical data from 1995 to 2012 to better understand the dynamics of today’s economic and resource system. Given that accurate data on physical limits does not currently exist, the dynamics of overshoot to global limits are not assessed. In this paper we offer a new interpretation of the parametrisation of World3-03 using these data to explore how its assumptions on global dynamics, environmental footprints and responses have changed over the past 40 years. The results show that human society has invested more to abate persistent pollution, to increase food productivity and have a more productive service sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Pasqualino & Aled W. Jones & Irene Monasterolo & Alexander Phillips, 2015. "Understanding Global Systems Today—A Calibration of the World3-03 Model between 1995 and 2012," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 7(8), pages 1-26, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:8:p:9864-9889:d:53068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Graham M Turner, 2008. "A Comparison of the Limits to Growth with Thirty Years of Reality," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2008-09, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    2. Ugo Bardi, 2013. "Mind Sized World Models," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 5(3), pages 1-16, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balint, T. & Lamperti, F. & Mandel, A. & Napoletano, M. & Roventini, A. & Sapio, A., 2017. "Complexity and the Economics of Climate Change: A Survey and a Look Forward," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 252-265.
    2. Roberto Pasqualino & Irene Monasterolo & Aled Jones, 2019. "An Integrated Global Food and Energy Security System Dynamics Model for Addressing Systemic Risk," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(14), pages 1-20, July.
    3. Balint, T. & Lamperti, F. & Mandel, A. & Napoletano, M. & Roventini, A. & Sapio, A., 2017. "Complexity and the Economics of Climate Change: A Survey and a Look Forward," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 252-265.
    4. Nick King & Aled Jones, 2021. "An Analysis of the Potential for the Formation of ‘Nodes of Persisting Complexity’," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(15), pages 1-32, July.

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