Dynamics of Change: Modeling the Economic Effects of Global Warming with Mathematica

Stuart Nettleton, Senior Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney

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The Mathematica Edge
  • Provides productive programming environment for projects of all scales
  • Features unique framework for importing, analyzing, and delivering results in one interactive document instead of across several applications
  • Automatically handles hundreds of data formats and subformats, which can be easily combined with terabytes of curated data in Wolfram|Alpha
"...the ability to do things so concisely and with so much power out of the functional programming and pattern matching and all the things that are the great advantage of Mathematica—that allowed a very rapid development process, so something a panel of experts told me would take a number of people a number of years, one person managed to do most of it in six months."

Challenge

Stuart Nettleton, a senior lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, knows the significance of the problem he's examining—he calls it "the biggest problem that we face in the world going forward." He's developing a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that evaluates the effects of global warming on world economies over 150 years.

Solution

Mathematica's productive programming language, ability to work with data, and scalability saved Nettleton years of development time. He says, "The rapid development environment that Mathematica provides, the ability to do things so concisely and with so much power out of the functional programming and pattern matching and all the things that are the great advantage of Mathematica—that allowed a very rapid development process, so something a panel of experts told me would take a number of people a number of years, one person managed to do most of it in six months."

In addition, Mathematica is key in communicating the model's findings. Nettleton can quickly and easily produce dynamic examples based on real-world data to help international economists and policymakers understand the economic effects of global warming and visualize the implications on different industries for years to come.

Benefits

Nettleton says having one tool with such breadth and depth is crucial for his modeling. "Having the convenience of GUI, plus the industrial grunt, plus the—and I can't say this enough—the communications ability, to be able to see your outputs as graphical outputs immediately, is a wonderful outcome."


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