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A Multi-Model, Multi-Scale Research Program in Stressors, Responses, and Coupled Systems Dynamics at the Energy-Water-Land Nexus (Program on Coupled Human and Earth Systems - "PCHES")

Funding Program Area(s)
Project Type
University Cooperative Agreement (CA)
Project Term
Project Team

Principal Investigator

Project Participant


The goal of this research program is to build a next-generation integrated suite of science-driven modeling and analytic capabilities, and a more expanded and connected community of practice, for analyses of the stressors, impacts, adaptations and vulnerabilities of global and regional change, with emphasis in understanding the Energy-Water-Land Nexus and interdependent infrastructures. Although the scope spans many complex facets of data, modeling, and analysis, as well as scales appropriate for integrated impacts and adaptation research, a particular focus of this effort is the development of multi-model, multi-scale capabilities spanning the domain of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs); Impact, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (IAV) models; and Earth System Models (ESMs). 


The new capabilities and interactions outlined in this proposal will be achieved by: 

  1. developing a use-inspired, innovative and adaptive framework for multi-model multi-scale research and analysis of integrated impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (I-IAV). 

  2. building foundational, modeling integration methods and capabilities with the development of coupling software, emulators, advanced computational and statistical methods, and translational tools. 

  3. assessing and establishing best modeling practices, and developing and testing framework evaluation tools, via methods comparisons, diagnostics, and integrated uncertainty analyses.

  4. creating a better organized multi-sectoral/multi-regional/multi-model community of practice by promoting systematic engagement between the IAM, IAV, and ESM communities, advancing team-based methodological developments and integrated modeling experiments in I-IAV research. 


The need for integrative climate science has increased dramatically over the last two decades, responding to rapid changes occurring at regional scales the urgent needs for improved understanding of the complex dynamics among human and Earth systems and, more specifically, the implications for impacts, adaptations, vulnerabilities, and feedbacks.  In such critical areas as the energy-water-nexus and for connected, concentrated infrastructures, newly created integrative modeling frameworks will enable improved fundamental understanding of processes, tipping points, and potential long-term implications of various systems co-evolutionary pathways/options.  The work must proceed in a way that makes its results as transparent and credible as possible and the science-based toolsets broadly accessible to other research disciplines, analysis, and decision-support communities.

Activities for this work will be reported under this federal grant number:  DE-SC0016162

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