The common Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) documentation
Integrated assessment modeling
Integrated assessment models (IAM) aim to provide policy-relevant insights into global environmental change and sustainable development issues by providing a quantitative description of key processes in the human and earth systems and their interactions. The modelling is integrated, i.e. it uses information from many scientific disciplines and describes both the human and earth system. The term assessment refers to focus on generating useful information for decision-making, even in case of large uncertainties. IAMs, for instance, have been successfully applied in support of climate policy (insights in future greenhouse gas emissions and options for mitigation), in several environmental assessments (e.g. the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment), but IAMs have also published a large amount of scientific papers.
For the purpose of IAMs, a transparent model documentation is essential. IAM teams have documented their models individually, often using web-supported tools. As IAMs, however, are often used together it is also important to have information on the similarities and differences across IAM models. This database provides an overview of the IAM models using a transparent wiki-based approach that has been used consistently across a range of models. This allows for direct comparison of these models. In addition to the harmonized model documentation, also Model comparison allow for direct comparisons.
The extent of documentation of the participating models may vary. The model documentation consists of:
- a set of documentation pages ordered in a hierarchical tree and a reference card which summarizes the main features (participation mode = full)
- a reference card only (participation mode = reference card only)
The development of this wiki-based multi-model documentation received input from the FP7 ADVANCE project. The current version benefitted from the work of an earlier version developed at University College London. The wiki also benefitted from comments and suggestions of other modelling teams part of the Integrated Assessment Modelling Consortium. Integrated Assessment Model teams interested in joining this common documentation platform should send a mail to IAMC@pbl.nl
Other forms of common model evaluation
IAM models also collaborate in other ways in order to enhance the transparency of IAM model output. First of all, various databases, such as the RCP and SSP databases, host the output of several IAMs in a common format (RCP Database (version 2.0)). Second, IAM models have also produced common evaluation metrics, distilled from common simple model experiments (1).
- Elmar Kriegler, Nils Petermann, Volker Krey, Valeria Jana Schwanitz, Gunnar Luderer, Shuichi Ashina, Valentina Bosetti, Jiyong Eom, Alban Kitous, Aurélie Méjean, Leonidas Paroussos, Fuminori Sano, Hal Turton, Charlie Wilson, Detlef Van P Vuuren (2015). Diagnostic indicators for integrated assessment models of climate policy. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90, Part A (), 45 - 61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2013.09.020