Improving the Representation of Human-Earth System Interactions

Improving the Representation of Human-Earth System Interactions

Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are the primary tool for describing the human Earth system—the sources of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) and short-lived species (SLS) emissions as well as land use and land cover and the system experiencing impacts of anthropogenic climate change. Earth system models (ESMs) are the primary scientific tools for examining the climate, biogeophysical, and biogeochemical impacts of changes to the radiative properties of the Earth’s atmosphere.


This project will integrate the economic and human dimension modeling of IAMs within fully coupled ESMs. By so doing we will improve climate predictions and enhance scientific understanding of climate impacts and adaptation opportunities. We will improve scientific understanding of the human-Earth system dynamics, such as the interactions and feedbacks leading to the timing, scale, and geographic distribution of emissions trajectories and other human influences, corresponding climate effects, and the subsequent impacts of a changing climate on human and natural systems.


We will address the long-term measure and address the major scientific questions of the proposal by undertaking the three tasks enumerated in the Technical Approach:


Task 1: Create a first generation integrated Earth System Model (iESM) with both the human components of an IAM and a physical ESM


Task 2: Further develop components and linkages within the iESM and apply the model to improve our understanding of the coupled physical, ecological, and human system


Task 3: Add realistic hydrology, including freshwater demand, allocations and demands to hold stocks of water as well as representation of freshwater availability from surface water, ground water, and desalinization.The three principal investigators are all leaders in their respective fields of integrated assessment modeling, the design and evaluation of climate and Earth system models, and the development of individual model components within climate and Earth system models. 



Principal Investigators:


James A. Edmonds, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joint Global Change Research Institute


John B. Drake, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Phone


William D. Collins, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 


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