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Reinforcing long-term scenario-building capacities: data control and model coupling

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Reading the Summaries for Policymakers of the third IPCC report published in 2001 confirms the diagnosis of a lack of consistency in the elaboration of greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and their use to assess the costs of climate change. Three observations can be made: the internal macro-economic robustness of the scenarios is questionable, the results and underlying hypotheses lack transparency, and climatic feed-backs are not taken into account in the planned reference scenarios.

The participation of a coordinated French research team in the elaboration of the scenarios of the future IPCC scenario-designing exercise would be highly desirable. These scenarios have so far played a decisive role in issues regarding the human activities/climate interface. The success of the multidisciplinary research project carried through as part of the GICC1 research programme suggests that our teams should be able to continue working together to create a French modelling consortium and thereby contribute significantly to the future activities of IPCC in the field of global projections.

This research proposal backs up the general research effort on climate change issues - the focus of two other multidisciplinary projects under the GICC2 CRP.

Our project stems from the shared belief that there is a need for a specific and coordinated effort on two levels: the constitution of a harmonized database for the study of long-term scenarios (economy, demography, energy, land use) and the recourse to specific techniques (TEF/ZOOM) for coupling models from different fields of research in order to develop long-term scenarios with a superior socio-economic and environmental consistency.

The constitution of a database of harmonized data will involve several simultaneous lines of research: the construction of social accounting matrices sectoralized and harmonized with the Chelem database, interfacing between energy databases and social accounting matrices, and ensuring the consistency of population trends. In continuity with the exploratory study undertaken in the framework of the GICC1 programme, the CIRED and LMD teams intend giving further attention to the relationships between economy and climate through studying the most efficient modelling strategy for this purpose. The TEF/ZOOM formalism will play a central role in facilitating the coupling of regionalized reduced forms of the climate with reduced forms of regionalized damage functions, thereby laying the foundations for a regionalized integrated model for the costing of climate change.

  • Future Climate, Regionalization, Dowscalling and Uncertainties
  • Climate Policy and International Climate Negotiations