Report 124

The MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) Version 2: Model Description and Baseline Evaluation

by Sokolov, A.P., C.A. Schlosser, S. Dutkiewicz, S. Paltsev, D.W. Kicklighter, H.D. Jacoby, R.G. Prinn, C.E. Forest, J.M. Reilly, C. Wang, B. Felzer, M.C. Sarofim, J. Scott, P.H. Stone, J.M. Melillo and J. Cohen (5-Jul)
Joint Program Report Series, 40 pages, 2005


The MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) is designed for analyzing the global environmental changes that may result from anthropogenic causes, quantifying the uncertainties associated with the projected changes, and assessing the costs and environmental effectiveness of proposed policies to mitigate climate risk. This report documents Version 2 of the IGSM, which like the previous version, includes an economic model for analysis of greenhouse gas and aerosol precursor emissions and mitigation proposals, a coupled atmosphere-ocean-land surface model with interactive chemistry, and models of natural ecosystems. In this global framework the outputs of the combined anthropogenic and natural emissions models provide the driving forces for the coupled atmospheric chemistry and climate models. Climate model outputs then drive a terrestrial model predicting water and energy budgets, CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes, and soil composition, which feed back to the coupled climate/chemistry model.

The first version of the integrated framework (which we will term IGSM1) is described in Prinn et al. (1999; Climatic Change, 41: 469) and in publications and Joint Program Reports and Technical Notes provided on the Program's website. Subsequently, upgrades of component model capabilities have been achieved, allowing more comprehensive and realistic studies of global change. Highlights of these improvements include: a substantially improved economics model, needed to provide emissions projections and to assess an increasingly complex policy environment; a new global terrestrial model comprised of state-of-the-art biogeophysical, ecological and natural biogeochemical flux components, which provides an improved capacity to study consequences of hydrologic and ecologic change; the addition of a three-dimensional ocean representation, replacing the previous two-dimensional model, which allows examination of the global thermohaline circulation and its associated climate change impacts; the addition of an explicit oceanic carbon cycle including the impact of the biological pump; the addition of a new urban air pollution model enabling better treatments of human health and climate impacts; and the addition of greater flexibility for study of terrestrial ecosystem and urban pollution effects. This report documents the essential features of the new IGSM structure.

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