Climatic Changes and Global Modeling

Pitovranov, S.E. & Seidov, D.G. (1982). Climatic Changes and Global Modeling. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-82-057

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The potential implications of climate variability and change for human activities and welfare have been the subject of considerable interest at IIASA over the past decade. During IIASA's 7-year global energy study, the possible effects of increasing world reliance on fossil fuels on the earth's climate were extensively explored. More recently, IIASA research has focused on the complex interactions between climate and society and on innovative techniques for analyzing them. For example, scientists from IIASA have pioneered the application of interactive gaming techniques to the problem of carbon dioxide and climate in an attempt to characterize to some degree the important behavioral aspects of future fossil-fuel consumption and possible climate changes.

IIASA's work on climate issues parallels ongoing research in the Soviet Union, among other countries. In particular, at the All-Union Research Institute for Systems Studies and the Institute of Oceanology of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences in Moscow, development has begun of a linked set of models of the combined "climate and society" system. This set of will permit detailed exploratory studies of the complex feedbacks between geophysical and environmental processes on the one hand, and socioeconomic developments and responses on the other.

This collaborative paper summarizes preliminary work on a specific subject of mutual interest to IIASA and the Soviet institutions mentioned above. Global models, despite their limitations, provide one of the few available methods for taking into account the many, often subtle interactions between environmental, economic, and social factors that may greatly influence the "net" impacts of climate changes. An earlier working paper by J. Robinson (WP-81-126) highlighted the potential advantages, disadvantages, and caveats associated with the use of global models for climate impact analysis. The approach taken in this paper is to explore a simple link between one global model, WORLD-3 (developed by Meadows et al.) and ecological and climatic models under development in the Soviet Union. While other global models could certainly have been selected, WORLD-3 provides a straightforward, transparent, and representative tool for studying potential climate-related impacts.

The analysis presented here is not of course intended to be realistic at this early stage. Nevertheless, it represents an important step towards improved understanding of the likely integrated impacts of climate variability and change on society. It is expected that future collaborative research and assessment activities will continue to explore this and other approaches to integrated climate impact assessment.

The work described here was supported in part by the Resources and Environment Area, reflecting IIASA's continuing interest in climate issues and the application of modeling and simulation techniques.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Resources and Environment Area (REN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:52
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:11

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