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Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling




Since 1990, a series of dynamic simulation models for integrated assessment of climate change has been developed in Europe, with support from the EC Commission and participation from several institutions. Leadership on a number of these projects has been with RIVM, the Dutch Institute for Environment and Public Health. The first of these projects was IMAGE 1.0 (Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect) , the first model to attempt to integrate the climate-change system from emissions to impacts.

In part inspired by the highly successful RAINS model for integrated assessment of acid rain in Europe, IMAGE was a deterministic, global, dynamic simulation model based on the systems-dynamics approach to modeling. It worked in one-year time steps from 1900 to 2100. It originally used four external emissions scenarios for CO2, CH4, N2O, and CFCs, and was subsequently modified to use the Edmonds-Reilly-Barns (ERB) energy-economic model to generate emissions. The global emission model was coupled to global atmospheric chemistry and climate models and to regional impacts models that projected sector-specific impacts for the Netherlands. The first impacts modules concentrated on sea-level rise and coastal defense, and allowed calculation of optimal policy response in the form of optimal time-paths for dike raising and dune strengthening. IMAGE also included a module that calculated impacts from increased ground-level UV radiation as a consequence of emissions of ozone-depleting substances (Rotmans 1989 ; Rotmans, de Boois, and Swart 1990 ; and den Elzen and Rotmans 1992).

For more information on IMAGE 1.0 and model availability, contact the following:

National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM)
P.O. Box 1
3720 BA Bilthoven


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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].



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