Modeling the global society-biosphere-climate system: Part 1: Model description and testing

07-07-1994 | Publication

This paper describes the IMAGE 2.0 model, a multi-disciplinary, integrated model designed to simulate the dynamics of the global society-biosphere-climate system.


The objectives of the model are to investigate linkages and feedbacks in the system, and to evaluate consequences of climate policies. Dynamic calculations are performed to year 2100, with a spatial scale ranging from grid (0.5°×0.5° latitudelongitude) to world regional level, depending on the sub-model. The model consists of three fully linked sub-systems: Energy-Industry, Terrestrial Environment, and Atmosphere-Ocean. The Energy-Industry models compute the emissions of greenhouse gases in 13 world regions as a function of energy consumption and industrial production. End use energy consumption is computed from various economic/demographic driving forces.

The Terrestrial Environment models simulate the changes in global land cover on a gridscale based on climatic and economic factors, and the flux of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the biosphere to the atmosphere. The Atmosphere-Ocean models compute the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting zonal-average temperature and precipitation patterns. The fully linked model has been tested against data from 1970 to 1990, and after calibration can reproduce the following observed trends: regional energy consumption and energy-related emissions, terrestrial flux of CO2 and emissions of greenhouse gases, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and transformation of land cover. The model can also simulate long term zonal average surface and vertical temperatures.