Heat and human mobility

Monday, October 15, 2018, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDTiCal
11th floor large conference room
This event is open to the public.
AI Seminar
Nick Obradovich, MIT
Video Recording:
https://bluejeans.com/s/LAgyU/ (Recording viewable ONLY to those with USC Kuali login)
Human behaviors alter -- and are altered by -- climate. Might the impacts of warming on human behaviors amplify anthropogenic contributions to climate change? In this talk I will discuss the empirically estimated, causal relationship between warmer temperatures and transportation use in the United States. Our project combines meteorological data with data on vehicle miles traveled and trips on public transit between 2002 and 2018. Moving from freezing temperatures up to 30°C increases vehicle miles traveled by over 10% and amplifies use of public transit by nearly 15%. Temperatures beyond 30°C exert little influence on either outcome. We then examine climate model projections to highlight the possible transportation impacts of future climatic changes. We project that warming over the coming century may add over one trillion cumulative vehicle miles traveled and six billion trips on public transit in the US alone, presenting the risk of a novel feedback loop in the human-environmental system.
Nick Obradovich is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab in the Scalable Cooperation group, an interdisciplinary lab of social, natural, and computer scientists focused on addressing large-scale cooperation challenges.
He holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. He is also the Human-Environmental Systems Fellow at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a research affiliate at MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative. In his work, he combines his interests in climate change and human behavior with his affinity for data science and computational methods.
Nick’s research explores climate change attitudes and the societal impacts of climate change. He has studied climate-related political behaviors, policy attitudes, and rates of adaptation of psychological expectations to gradual changes in climate. He has also examined the potential for climatic changes to alter mental health, mood, physical activity, and sleep as well as democratic turnover and daily governance.
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