Maps & Exhibits

O’ahu and the Effects of Climate Change

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Jessica Lai, Susan Ni, Chelsea Tang, and Giancarlo Seixas

Carnegie Mellon University, US

Climate change, known as the shift in a region’s average weather conditions over a long period has created an impact on human lives that extends well beyond rising temperatures. While the Earth’s climate has naturally fluctuated throughout its existence, modern climate change is unprecedented, with the Earth’s average temperature in 2020 being the hottest year on record. To understand the depth and complexity of this issue, our team created the following map to draw out the causes and implications of climate change on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

In the current Anthropocene, the collective release of greenhouse gases results from the overconsumption of natural resources driven by industrialization. Being economically dependent on the travel business but also geographically sensitive to rising sea levels. Hawaii’s climate is trapped in a vicious cycle that desires interventions with higher leverage points, such as changes to the island’s infrastructure and fundamental shifts in core values. Even though most environmental campaigns have a call to action aimed towards individual habits and consumer choices, our research concludes that the main responsibility lies in the hands of major corporations and federal level governments.

Reading the climate change on O’ahu HI systems map

The five-petal flower motif represents the delicate climate situation O’ahu’s flora and fauna faces, and divides the map into five large categories, each containing the causes and effects across social, environmental, economic, infrastructure, and transportation aspects. The connections between elements overall indicate a mitigating or worsening effect on GHG emissions, while the gradient shows the local-to-global scope surrounding the issue. With the political bubble being the highest stakeholder, this map demonstrates how the ecology of interventions relies on government power and action.

Map: O’ahu and the Effects of Climate Change

To view the map detail, click the black arrow on the right. You can zoom in from the view on the new tab and explore the whole map. You can also download the full-size map from the new tab.

Posted September 2021

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Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium. rsdsymposium.org/LINK.