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Integrated assessment model diagnostics: key indicators and model evolution

Harmsen, M; Kriegler, E; van Vuuren, DP; van der Wijst, K-I; Luderer, G; Cui, R; Dessens, O; ... Zakeri, B; + view all (2021) Integrated assessment model diagnostics: key indicators and model evolution. Environmental Research Letters , 16 (5) , Article 054046. 10.1088/1748-9326/abf964. Green open access

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Integrated assessment models (IAMs) form a prime tool in informing about climate mitigation strategies. Diagnostic indicators that allow comparison across these models can help describe and explain differences in model projections. This increases transparency and comparability. Earlier, the IAM community has developed an approach to diagnose models (Kriegler (2015 Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 90 45–61)). Here we build on this, by proposing a selected set of well-defined indicators as a community standard, to systematically and routinely assess IAM behaviour, similar to metrics used for other modeling communities such as climate models. These indicators are the relative abatement index, emission reduction type index, inertia timescale, fossil fuel reduction, transformation index and cost per abatement value. We apply the approach to 17 IAMs, assessing both older as well as their latest versions, as applied in the IPCC 6th Assessment Report. The study shows that the approach can be easily applied and used to indentify key differences between models and model versions. Moreover, we demonstrate that this comparison helps to link model behavior to model characteristics and assumptions. We show that together, the set of six indicators can provide useful indication of the main traits of the model and can roughly indicate the general model behavior. The results also show that there is often a considerable spread across the models. Interestingly, the diagnostic values often change for different model versions, but there does not seem to be a distinct trend.

Type: Article
Title: Integrated assessment model diagnostics: key indicators and model evolution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abf964
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abf964
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, diagnostics, integrated assessment models, climate policy, 6th Assessment Report IPCC, renewable energy, mitigation, AR6
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129009
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