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Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling



Environmental Protection Agency

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to providing support to several integrated assessment projects, has been directly involved in the development of three integrated-assessment frameworks: the Atmospheric Stabilization Framework (ASF); the Policy Evaluation Framework (PEF); and the Adaptation Strategy Evaluator (ASE).

The Atmospheric Stabilization Framework

The ASF, developed by the EPA between 1988 and 1990, provides a framework for developing scenarios of future emissions based on consistent demographic, economic, and technological assumptions, and uses simple carbon-cycle and atmospheric models to map emissions into atmospheric concentrations. Emissions and concentrations of greenhouse gases, ozone precursors, and sulfate aerosols are modeled, from four source sectors: energy, industry, agriculture, and land use. The ASF was used to develop the standard IPCC emission scenarios in 1990, in conjunction with IMAGE 1.0, and in 1992 (IPCC 1991; Pepper et al. 1992). EPA (1990) provides more information on ASF.

The Policy Evaluation Framework

The Global Climate Policy Evaluation Framework (PEF), developed by EPA in collaboration with Decision Focus Inc., is a two-period decision analysis tool to evaluate alternative policies under uncertainty. PEF integrates three deterministic modules, representing emissions in the United States and the rest of the world, atmospheric composition and climate change, and economic and ecosystemic impacts into a decision-tree structure that permits probabilistic analysis of policies, including studies of interactions between mitigation and adaptation policies. The model includes about thirty uncertain parameters. Cohan et al. (1994) provide more information on PEF.

The Adaptation Strategy Evaluator

The Adaptation Strategy Evaluator (ASE), also developed in collaboration with Decision Focus Inc., is an Excel-based graphical and tabular system designed to assist decision-makers in evaluating climate adaptation strategies. ASE uses a "multi-attribute" approach, displaying in graphical and tabular form the impacts of particular policies on a variety of user-specified consequence measures, including some that may be difficult to quantify. Hence it can be a useful tool for organizing and communicating information about vulnerabilities and tradeoffs. ASE is presently structured to evaluate adaptation strategies in three sectors: coastal zones, water resources, and agriculture (EPA 1995).

For more information on EPA's modeling activities, contact the following:

Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation
ATTN: Joel Scheraga
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20460 USA.


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Parson, E.A. and K. Fisher-Vanden, Searching for Integrated Assessment: A Preliminary Investigation of Methods, Models, and Projects in the Integrated Assessment of Global Climatic Change. Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). University Center, Mich. 1995.


Suggested Citation

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). 1995. Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling of Climate Change [online]. Palisades, NY: CIESIN. Available at [accessed DATE].



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