In the "World-Earth system" of our planetary social-ecology, natural and social tipping elements interact and can lead to domino effects. One can imagine a hypothetical tipping cascade from impending ice sheet meltdown via sea-level rise, activism in affected coastal communities, growing support throughout society, implementation of climate policies, the decarbonization of economies, and the ultimate prevention of further tipping. As a key link in this chain, Nils Dunker studied in his excellent masters thesis how individuals may become active in the climate movement due to a combination of observed flooding events, anticipated sea-level rise, and social mobilization. To capture the interaction between the spatial structure of natural processes and social networks, we use an agent-based version of Granovetter's threshold model of social activation, driven by climate projections, population densities, and social survey data, continuing a series of studies by postdocs Marc Wiedermann and Keith Smith. Here I present some of their innovative model components and qualitative insights about crucial parameters and mechanisms.
Jobst Heitzig, based on work with Nils Dunker, Marc Wiedermann, and E. Keith Smith
From Nils Dunker, Universität Duisburg-Essen, 2021, Master Thesis