Featured link and image: NASA Watches Arctic Ice, click to see full story

Home Page (MVA) > Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) and Resources > IAMs Thematic Guide


Thematic Guide Icon

Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling





Integrated assessment of global environmental change is a relatively new field that is beginning to define itself and its forms of practice. As yet, the field has not grappled directly with issues of quality control, and this work is a first attempt in that direction. We argue that if integrated assessment is to be successful in the long run, then building and maintaining credibility via quality control procedures is a necessary condition for realizing its potential. We highlight a number of pitfalls in the practice of integrated assessment, and discuss their causes. We buttress our concerns using examples from both within climate change integrated assessment, and from the history of other similar endeavors. We also provide a number of suggestions that we hope will serve to alleviate some of these pitfalls. For instance, tools, methods, and assumptions from disciplines form archetypes for components in integrated assessment models, and we need to apply greater scrutiny to these archetypes. Further, tools which may be reasonable to use in particular disciplinary, geographical, or temporal contexts may be unsuited to the broader contexts inherent in integrated assessment studies.






Parson, E.A. and K. Fisher-Vanden, Searching for Integrated Assessment: A Preliminary Investigation of Methods, Models, and Projects in the Integrated Assessment of Global Climatic Change. Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). University Center, Mich. 1995.


Suggested Citation

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). 1995. Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling of Climate Change [online]. Palisades, NY: CIESIN. Available at [accessed DATE].



Our sponsors:

TM0=o`$JB [Fj P!+t;r& L> e"e7޳lv*1VLa T$D&F&-.nKO)Jq* j|^!|12b(l4^Бaa}KMlXȔP\3)HK x׸"k`TC '\/<3tf,CnLI}Ȏce!HSZBFX&󝝙T)qgg֊+{ ^ h8gO`w_NW;VX1s6t2 e) Fa릭**@B"V*kh $