Reviewing agent-based modelling of socio-ecosystems: a methodology for the analysis of climate change adaptation and sustainability
The integrated - environmental, economic and social - analysis of climate change calls for a paradigm shift as it is fundamentally a problem of complex, bottom-up and multi-agent human behaviour. There is a growing awareness that global environmental change dynamics and the related socio-economic implications involve a degree of complexity that requires an innovative modelling of combined social and ecological systems. Climate change policy can no longer be addressed separately from a broader context of adaptation and sustainability strategies. A vast body of literature on agent-based modelling (ABM) shows its potential to couple social and environmental models, to incorporate the influence of micro-level decision making in the system dynamics and to study the emergence of collective responses to policies. However, there are few publications which concretely apply this methodology to the study of climate change related issues. The analysis of the state of the art reported in this paper supports the idea that today ABM is an appropriate methodology for the bottom-up exploration of climate policies, especially because it can take into account adaptive behaviour and heterogeneity of the system's components.
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