Human response to the impacts of climate depends not only on how climate changes in the future, but also on future societal trends. A scientifically informed response to climate change therefore requires understanding of how socioeconomic factors might evolve in the future and how they interact with a changing climate. Models of human systems and interactions will help in developing this understanding, but many improvements are necessary to better account for the wide range of plausible human development pathways and their interactions with changing climate.
The NCAR Climate and Human Systems Project's mission is to:
An NCAR-led team has developed a software tool to carry out analyses of human–Earth system interactions, called the Integrated Population-Economy-Technology-Science (iPETS) model. We have applied iPETS to questions of how societal development trends may affect both future emissions and vulnerability to climate impacts. iPETS links component models to merge demographic, energy, economic, greenhouse gas, and climate data into model outputs that yield insight on the many societal and physical dimensions of changing climate.
Current research focuses on interactions between land use and regional climate change, as well as risks to agriculture, urban areas, and coastal regions due to climate change, extreme events, and air pollution.
Primary: NSF core funds through the NCAR Integrated Science Program
Additional: Department of Energy Integrated Assessment Program; NSF program on Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models (EaSM)
Seeking additional funding to expand existing capacity.
Arizona State University
Colorado School of Mines
NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Kansas