The ERMITAGE Project-Enhancing Robustness and Model Integration for The Assessment of Global Environmental Change

The development of interdisciplinary modelling tools and platforms to address the interactions between natural and socio-economic systems is an active research area in Europe. Nevertheless, notable gaps still exist in modelling capabilities, in particular, very little progress has been made to date in the direct coupling of models that resolve the spatial distribution of climate change with sectorally and regionally resolved economic models. Interactive couplings between climate and and impact models are relatively underdeveloped. Likewise the coupling of detailed economic models with impact and adaptation models is still at a relatively early stage. Finally, a coherent assessment of uncertainty is completely lacking in overall integrated assessments.

The sustainability of agriculture and land-use policies and practices including water availability, and the sustainability of climate policies that rely on high shares of bioenergy are critical applications that demand a spatially resolved representation of global environmental change, including feedbacks between natural and socio-economic forces.

ERMITAGE proposes to improve and extend existing modular frameworks for the coupling of intermediate complexity models of the natural and socio-economic systems to address the issues cited above. The resulting integrated assessment framework models will be applied to the analysis of post-2012 climate initiatives taking into account uncertainties and regional conflicts of interest in a coordinated way, propagating the analysis of uncertaintly from climate simulation through to policy analysis, focusing particularly on the sustainability of agriculture, bioenergy and water resources.