Why Regional Modeling?
Regional Human - Earth System Interaction
Regional modeling of climate change and associated mitigation and adaptation decisions is necessary to explore the interactions, constraints, opportunities, and uncertainties that influence regional outcomes.
Regional mitigation and adaptation actions may have important interactions and will likely require both economic and environmental tradeoffs. For example,
- Decisions about allocating scarce water resources across competing municipal, agricultural, energy, and ecosystem demands will not only affect adaptive capacities but also may influence the feasibility of water-intensive mitigation options, such as certain bioenergy crops or nuclear power.
- Competing land use priorities, such as for biofuels, food, large-scale wind and solar power, and species habitat, will also require tradeoffs between adaptive and mitigative goals.
Global modeling typically does not address regional features in sufficient detail for regional planning. In addition, regional modeling results of human-environmental system interactions in response to climate change may turn out to be quite different from the results of global downscaling. In the aggregate, more accurate regional modeling can be used to improve the accuracy of global modeling.
The iRESM framework is being developed specifically to provide a means for researchers, regional planners, and policy makers to explore the uncertain interactions between regional characteristics and various climate change and climate policy scenarios.