Multiplicity of time scales. Challenges in sciences and communication

Projekter: ProjektForskning



The multidisciplinary collaboration “Multiplicity of time scales. Challenges in sciences and communication” seek connecting researchers within the Natural Sciences and the Humanics. The goals are to (i) understand the universal emergence of multiplicity of time scales in a broad sense, i. e. in climate, matter, life, economy, and politics; (ii) compare the various approaches of detecting multiple time scales in empirical evidence (e.g., filtering characteristic time lengths out of clouds of data); (iii) analyze failures in modeling and communicating dynamic phenomena and control tasks due to underestimation of differences between characteristic time scales.

We wish to point to the multiple time scales in climate change and sustainable development, elaborate on the universal character of multiplicity of characteristic time lengths and address the related challenges in sciences and communication. Greenhouse gases accumulate rapidly in the atmosphere with immediate changes in the radiation pattern while secondary effects develop slowly like the release of methane from the oceans and perm freezing areas and, in the opposite direction, the binding and storage of CO2 in the oceans. Such huge differences between characteristic time lengths provide not only difficulties in mathematical modeling, statistical sampling, and numerical simulation but can become misleading in communicating threats and solutions. Disregard of multiple time scales of a problem can either induce overestimations in the short run and underestimations in the end, i. e., the ominous cry wolf effect, and/or underestimation in the short run and overestimation in the end, resulting in fatalistic forfeiting or preposterous activism.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/07/201901/06/2020