Integrating Human and Earth System Dynamics (iHESD) Scientific Focus Area

This scientific focus area (SFA) aims to improve our integrated understanding of the complex, multi-scale dynamics of human systems and their interactions with the Earth system. Its vision is to deliver the next generation of scientific advances through next-generation, community Integrated Assessment (IA) modeling and research that will flexibly address emerging issues at the intersection of energy, water, land, the economy, and the environment at relevant scales, and in a manner accessible and useful to the science and decision-making communities. This SFA focuses on the development and use of the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM). FY16-18 experiments explore, first, how climate variability and extreme events interact with evolving human systems and alter long-term human system and human-Earth system dynamics at different temporal and spatial scales; and, second, how uncertainty about economic decision making propagates through projections of land use, energy, and biogeochemical change. Supporting scientific research will lead to a range of important scientific advances in GCAM, including: representation of intra-annual water allocations and storage; improved emulation of temperature and precipitation; representation of the impacts of temperature and precipitation on land use and land cover. electricity production, and electricity demands; advances in the representation of trade, demands, and economic linkages; and improvements in hindcasting capabilities for model evaluation. Enabling and foundational capabilities will improve GCAM’s computational capabilities, bring forward a range of new visualization capabilities, produce and distribute data products, and support the GCAM user and development communities. The Laboratory Research Manager for this research is Dr. Charlette Geffen.

Project Term: 
2015 to 2018

Research Highlights:

A Hindcast Experiment Using the GCAM 3.0 Agriculture and Land-Use Module Highlight Presentation
Global Scenarios of Urban Density and Its Impacts on Building Energy Use through 2050 Highlight Presentation