The Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM) group, within the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), develops and applies integrated models of human and earth systems to help understand how key aspects of society may evolve in the future and how they might interact with a changing climate.
Established in 2009 as part of NCAR’s former Integrated Science Program, the IAM group employs an interdisciplinary research staff with expertise in land use and agricultural impacts, energy systems modeling, and demographic and household behavior. IAM researchers also collaborate closely with experts in economics, software engineering, land surface modeling, and urbanization and health impacts.
The IAM group’s research is designed to answer questions such as:
- How will future changes in socioeconomic development influence greenhouse gas emissions and abatement potentials and cost?
- How will trends in societal development affect the amount and location of land used for food, forest products, and energy crops?
- How will future socio-economic change and climate change affect impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation options in agricultural systems and urban areas?
- What is the uncertainty associated with key components of integrated assessment analyses, including societal development pathways, emissions, land use, climate change, and its impacts?
IAM researchers also play active and leading roles in community research activities, such as the Community Earth System Model (CESM), the Societal Dimensions Working Group, the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC), the International Committee on New Integrated Climate change assessment Scenarios (ICONICS), and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP).