Tools and Platforms
The SEI York centre develops a number of tools for sustainable development. These encompass both software- and non-software based platforms or approaches for information sharing, capacity building and decision support. These are deployed across the globe to support initiatives such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, local resource management in Africa, stakeholder engagement for particpatory decision making for air quality management and to improve understanding of atmospheric and biophysical processes at macro-scales.
The Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP, www.energycommunity.org) system is a software tool developed by SEI's US Centre for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment. LEAP is an integrated scenario-based modeling tool that can be used to track energy consumption, production and resource extraction in all sectors of an economy. In addition, it can account for both energy and non-energy sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources and sinks. LEAP can also analyse emissions patterns of local and regional air pollutants, making it well-suited to studies of the climate co-benefits of local air pollution emissions reductions, and vice versa. The LEAP-IBC tool combines the LEAP platform with the ‘integrated benefits calculator’ (IBC) that calculates human health, crop yield and climate benefits for a target country resulting from addressing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
The DO3SE model is SEI’s main tool to assess the effects of air pollution on vegetation. Recent developments of DO3SE include photosynthetic based estimates of gas exchange which means it now possible to assess pollution deposition and impact on carbon assimilation and therefore carbon allocation and growth of different plant parts (yield, leaves and roots). We are also working with crop modellers within the Agricultural Modelling and intercomparison project (AgMIP) to incorporate crop modelling algorithms into the DO3SE model.
The IOTA model is an environmental footprinting tool that links physical data on commodity production in different countries with a detailed financial matrix that traces inter-industry buying and selling across the world. Recent advances to link the IOTA model to data from SEI’s Trase platform enabling SEI to employ models and methods in research, and national and business policy contexts. A first example of output from this methodological collaboration formed part of WWF’s flagship Living Planet Report 2016.
The NETpositive tool is a collaboration between SEI and NETpositive Futures Ltd and is an interactive dashboard to data from the NETpositive Action Plan tool which can be interrogated by stakeholders. Two new versions of the NETpositive Action Plan tool were launched in 2016: By UK Higher Education procurement teams and purchasing consortia in their supplier engagement programmes (with over 1200 business users to date); and by the University of Manchester in their ‘10,000 Actions’ staff engagement programme (with currently over 1000 staff users).
The MILLENNIA peatland model has now been extended to cover large areas and has been updated to better represent land management (i.e. burning, ploughing, harvest) and hydrological behaviour of bedrock drainage. We recently used this model to predict past losses of (peat) carbon due to management (i.e. cultivation) (compared to what should have accumulated naturally). This will also enable us relating likely past soil carbon losses to historic changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration and highlight future soil mitigation potential. We also have built in-house expertise with the DNDC and Century models (Andreas Heinemeyer), the most widely used agriculture and forestry soil models in relation to nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions. This will form the basis for funding applications within the agriculture sector.
Targeting AGwater Management Interventions (TAGMI) is a decision support tool that facilitates targeting and scaling-out of three different Agricultural Water Management (AWM) technologies in the Limpopo and the Volta River Basins. This online tool displays the output of a Bayesian network model that assesses the influence of social and bio-physical factors on the likelihood of success of implementing different AWM technologies. The Bayesian network model was developed iteratively, in collaboration with local researchers and experts, and merges knowledge pools from technical experts to local agriculture extension agents.
Read more about TAGMI