The Feedback Crisis in Climate Change


This Meridian Report highlights the all-too-real possibility of runaway climate change, driven by the naturally occurring positive feedback loops of the biosphere. It raises issues of the most fundamental and urgent nature for the world community and calls in question the effectiveness of current strategic responses to global warming. It presents an analysis of the structure of the feedback dynamics that control the process of climate change, and includes clear statements of the implications of the new level of analysis for strategic decision-making at every level of our world community. The Report introduces a framework of systems dynamics interrelated the many factors involved. The concept of equilibrium states highlights different patterns of relationship between positive and negative feedback mechanisms. A topological approach provides a highly visual landscape, through which various pathways can be traced, representing a set of scenarios with profoundly different outcomes.