How well do integrated assessment models simulate climate change?

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Author(s) Vuuren, Detlef P. van, Lowe, Jason, Stehfest, Elke, Gohar, Laila, Hof, Andries F., Hope, Chris, Warren, Rachel, Meinshausen, Malte, Plattner, Gian-Kasper
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title How well do integrated assessment models simulate climate change?
Author(s) Vuuren, Detlef P. van
Lowe, Jason
Stehfest, Elke
Gohar, Laila
Hof, Andries F.
Hope, Chris
Warren, Rachel
Meinshausen, Malte
Plattner, Gian-Kasper
Journal or Series Title Climatic change
Volume Number 104
Issue Number 2
Start Page 255
End Page 285
ISSN 0165-0009
Publisher Springer
Publication Place Dordrecht
Publication Date 2011-01
Abstract Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are regularly used to evaluate different policies of future emissions reductions. Since the global costs associated with these policies are immense, it is vital that the uncertainties in IAMs are quantified and understood. We first demonstrate the significant spread in the climate system and carbon cycle components of several contemporary IAMs. We then examine these components in more detail to understand the causes of differences, comparing the results with more complex climate models and earth system models (ESMs), where available. Our results show that in most cases the outcomes of IAMs are within the range of the outcomes of complex models, but differences are large enough to matter for policy advice. There are areas where IAMs would benefit from improvements (e.g. climate sensitivity, inertia in climate response, carbon cycle feedbacks). In some cases, additional climate model experiments are needed to be able to tune some of these improvements. This will require better communication between the IAM and ESM development communities.
DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9764-2
Additional Notes Received 5 December 2008, Accepted 12 November 2009, Published online 11 December 2009
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
Organisational Unit(s)
NEBIS System Number 000040037
Source Database ID WOS-000286116900005
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  author = "Vuuren, Detlef P. van and Lowe, Jason and Stehfest, Elke and Gohar, Laila and Hof, Andries F. and Hope, Chris and Warren, Rachel and Meinshausen, Malte and Plattner, Gian-Kasper",
  title = "{H}ow well do integrated assessment models simulate climate change?",
  journal = "Climatic change",
  year = 2011,
  volume = "104",
  number = "2",
  pages = "255--285",
  month = jan,

E-Citations record created: Mon, 28 Feb 2011, 09:26:19 CET