Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM)
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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.
Anticipating how society might change in the future, in addition to climate, is critical to examining the consequences of and possible responses to climate change. To address this need, the IAM group aims to:
- Improve projections of societal trends relevant to assessing climate impacts, mitigation, and adaptation;
- Improve the capacity to link integrated assessment models to the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to investigate human-earth system interactions; and
- Improve assessments of impacts, adaptation, and mitigation by better accounting for socio-economic change and its interactions with the climate systems.
Learn more about the IAM group and its research projects, view recent IAM news, or contact IAM staff
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).
- New paper helps explain how urban areas grow - Leiwen Jiang, Brian O'Neill
- Press Release - Brian O'Neill
- Nature Climate Change paper finds that Paris Agreement temperature and emissions targets are inconsistent - Brian O'Neill
- Paper describes ongoing development of U.S. state-level projections under the SSPs and provides a set of placeholder projections - Leiwen Jiang, Hamidreza Zoraghein, Brian O'Neill
- Climatic Change article introduces special issue on the Benefits of Reduced Anthropogenic Climate changE - Brian O'Neill
- New paper projects future population exposure to heat extremes, comparing alternative climate scenarios and demographic outcomes - Claudia Tebaldi, Brian O'Neill, Jing Gao
Explore all IAM news items