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Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling



Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia

In addition to its collaborative work with RIVM on the development of the ESCAPE model, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia has been involved in several major integrated assessment projects. These include the development of the climate models STUGE; STAGGER (Sea-level and Temperature changes After Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions); CLIMAPS (CLimate change Impact MAPping System); MAGICC (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse gas Induced Climate Change); and SCENGEN (regional climate change SCENario GENerator).

STUGE is a simplified model of climate change that has been compared in structure to the IMAGE 1.0 model (Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect). In the family tree of RIVM (the Dutch National Institute of Environment and Public Health) and CRU integrated-assessment models, both STUGE and IMAGE were early models on which many subsequent developments were based. STUGE takes specified emissions levels and calculates atmospheric concentrations, radiative forcing, global-average temperature change, and sea-level change. Wigley et al. (1991) present further information on STUGE.

STAGGER is an integrated climate model which, together with IMAGE 1.0, formed the core of ESCAPE. STAGGER, like STUGE, generates projections of global mean temperature and sea-level rise from emission projections, but STAGGER includes more process-oriented detail on climate and sea-level rise.

CRU, in collaboration with the Environmental Change Unit at Oxford University, also developed the regional scenario and impact model CLIMAPS (CLimate change Impact MAPping System). CLIMAPS takes as inputs global mean-temperature and sea-level data and estimates impacts on the European region at a resolution of 0.5 degrees latitude by 1.0 degree longitude.

MAGICC, an improved descendant of both STAGGER and CLIMAPS, takes emission projections as input, and uses several reduced-form models to calculate global-mean temperature change and sea-level rise. SCENGEN (regional climate change SCENario GENerator), a recent CRU model, can use these global estimates of temperature and sea-level change to develop regional climate-change scenarios at 5-degree resolution globally and 1-degree resolution in some regions, by scaling global-mean temperature change to regional results of previous Global Circulation Model (GCM) runs.


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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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