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NC-NCP: Natural Complexity Project
Entry ID: GB-NERC-BAS-PDC-00511


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Summary
Abstract: COMPLEXITY will apply new mathematical methods to data sets drawn from across the GSAC programme to reveal previously hidden underlying patterns and laws, and to develop new mathematical models to explain them. This is known as the field of complexity science. Combined with results from other BAS scientific programmes this work will help assess the likelihood of extreme environmental changes.

As far as we are aware, the Earth is the most complex object in the Universe. It is not sufficient to investigate aspects of its nature and functioning separately, since features of its overall behaviour are difficult to predict from a detailed study of its components. However, new theoretical concepts and advanced mathematical tools, together with ever-increasing computer power, offer the potential to identify related patterns of behaviour in apparently dissimilar natural systems. For example, it is now possible to predict the odds of an avalanche of a given size in a sand pile without having to know the movement of every grain, using an approach which can also be applied to the study of stock-market fluctuations. Such mathematical modelling and analysis tools can be applied to the behaviour of previously ill-understood natural phenomena ranging from earthquakes to magnetic substorms. COMPLEXITY will apply new mathematical techniques to focused goals in each of the four main spheres of BAS science. It will analyse data sets already held at BAS, and new data acquired under GSAC. COMPLEXITY has links with GEACEP, GRADES, CACHE, DISCOVERY 2010 and SEC.


Purpose: Objectives include:
* Identify, measure and explain aspects of complexity in four main components of the Earth system: the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and magnetosphere
* Use ideas and methods from complexity science to offer new insights into environmental problems under investigation in selected BAS science programmes

Science Keywords
ATMOSPHERE >AIR QUALITY    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >FROZEN GROUND    [Definition]
HUMAN DIMENSIONS >ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS    [Definition]
OCEANS >MARINE ENVIRONMENT MONITORING    [Definition]
SUN-EARTH INTERACTIONS >IONOSPHERE/MAGNETOSPHERE DYNAMICS    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA
CLIMATOLOGY/METEOROLOGY/ATMOSPHERE
ENVIRONMENT


Access Constraints
This data is governed by the NERC Data Policy - http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/sites/data/policy.asp


Use Constraints
This data is governed by the NERC Data Policy - http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/sites/data/policy.asp


Keywords
BEHAVIOUR
BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLEXITY
GSAC
MATHEMATICAL MODELLING
NATURAL COMPLEXITY


Data Set Progress
IN WORK


Originating Center
BAS/AEDC/PSD


Data Center
Antarctic Environmental Data Centre, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/
Dataset ID: GB-NERC-BAS-PDC-00511 > NC-NCP: Natural Complexity Project

Data Center Personnel
Name: HELEN CAMPBELL
Contact Address:
Polar Data Centre
British Antarctic Survey


Personnel
ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENTAL DATA CENTRE BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: 44 (0) 1223 221312
Email: aedc at bas.ac.uk
Contact Address:
British Antarctic Survey



Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2013-03-22
Last DIF Revision Date: 2013-03-22


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