Food and Water

IIASA research concentrates on solution-oriented approaches within the following four integrative research themes: food security, integrated watershed management, optimizing multiple uses of terrestrial ecosystem services, and safeguarding sustainable seafood and aquatic ecosystems.

Africa


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2°C global warming impacts in Europe

The Agro-Ecological Systems (AES) team joined the IMPACT2C project which explores the likely impacts of a 2°C rise in global mean temperature in Europe and in three vulnerable areas in other parts of the world outside Europe: Bangladesh, Africa, and the Maldives. more

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European consumption impacts world forests

Agricultural products imported to Europe accounted for more than one-third of global deforestation associated with international agricultural trade, according to a new policy-oriented report prepared by a European consortium including IIASA, and published by the European Commission. more

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Gridded crop modeling

Progress with EPIC crop modeling in 2013 allowed the Agro-Economic Systems (AES) group to join the international Ag-GRID initiative which aims to improve global gridded crop modeling. more

Asia


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2°C global warming impacts in Europe

The Agro-Ecological Systems (AES) team joined the IMPACT2C project which explores the likely impacts of a 2°C rise in global mean temperature in Europe and in three vulnerable areas in other parts of the world outside Europe: Bangladesh, Africa, and the Maldives. more

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European consumption impacts world forests

Agricultural products imported to Europe accounted for more than one-third of global deforestation associated with international agricultural trade, according to a new policy-oriented report prepared by a European consortium including IIASA, and published by the European Commission. more

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Integrated modeling and qualitative analysis

As environmental problems do not respect disciplinary boundaries, integrated assessment modeling, pioneered by IIASA, is a useful adjunct to environmental policy analysis, integrating knowledge from more than one domain into a single framework. more

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Uncertainty in environmental services

Total uncertainty in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions changes over time due to “learning” and the structural change in the GHG emitters. Understanding uncertainty over time is important to improve setting emission targets in the future and was key to the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program's work in 2013. more

Europe


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2°C global warming impacts in Europe

The Agro-Ecological Systems (AES) team joined the IMPACT2C project which explores the likely impacts of a 2°C rise in global mean temperature in Europe and in three vulnerable areas in other parts of the world outside Europe: Bangladesh, Africa, and the Maldives. more

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Advanced techniques for extreme event risk

Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) staff introduced a new method to up-scale dependent loss distributions from natural hazards to higher spatial levels, explicitly incorporating their dependency structure over the aggregation process. more

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Climate change will raise electricity prices

Changes in water availability and water temperature under climate change are likely to lead to higher electricity prices for most of Europe, according to a new study by IIASA's Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS). more

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Ecosystem services and bio-energy potential in the Alpine Space

In 2013 the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program's Policy Science Interface (PSI) group together with ESM Forest Ecosystems Management (FEM) continued their involvement in the recharge.green project that aims to analyze bio-energy potential and impacts in the Alps from biomass, solar, wind, and hydro. more

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European consumption impacts world forests

Agricultural products imported to Europe accounted for more than one-third of global deforestation associated with international agricultural trade, according to a new policy-oriented report prepared by a European consortium including IIASA, and published by the European Commission. more

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Integrated modeling and qualitative analysis

As environmental problems do not respect disciplinary boundaries, integrated assessment modeling, pioneered by IIASA, is a useful adjunct to environmental policy analysis, integrating knowledge from more than one domain into a single framework. more

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Resilience of social systems

Similarly to ecosystems, social systems – from firms to countries – are becoming more and more subject to various stressors whose effects penetrate throughout the system by means of social ties and economic links. The external disturbances here may be of political, economic, financial and even environmental nature. more

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Terrestrial ecosystems full verified GHG budget

As the methods used to measure and inventory GHG emissions have significant uncertainties and gaps, the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program has been developing an advanced methodology of a Terrestrial Ecosystems Full Verified GHG Budget. more

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Uncertainty in environmental services

Total uncertainty in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions changes over time due to “learning” and the structural change in the GHG emitters. Understanding uncertainty over time is important to improve setting emission targets in the future and was key to the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program's work in 2013. more

Global


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A wider perspective on potential co-benefits

In a review paper, developed in cooperation with colleagues from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies of Japan, scientists of the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program argued that a multidisciplinary approach, involving the interplay with other policy objectives beyond air quality and climate, is needed to bring policies into line with current research on co-benefits. more

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Advances in mathematical statistics

Driven by the demand from modeling applications, the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program has been developing several different approaches to gaining information from data using mathematical statistics. more

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Advances in solving optimal control problems

In 2013 the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program made several new contributions to the development of optimal control theory for managing socio-environmental systems within a modeling framework. more

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Agro-Ecological Systems (AES)

In 2013 substantive progress was made in extending and validating the IIASA EPIC model for major crops in Europe and for assessing the biophysical impacts of a mean 2°C temperature rise. more

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Artificial intelligence and data analysis

Advances were made in 2013 by the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program in stochastic downscaling, identifying structural changes in time series of socio-ecological transitions, and analyzing “big data" sets. more

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Climate mitigation, negative emissions technology, and BECCS

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program's Policy and Science Interface (PSI) team has been considering how to mitigate climate change through the use of carbon-neutral bio-energy (BE), combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS), to produce negative-emissions conditions. more

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Dynamic systems, control, and optimization

The Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program's study of dynamical systems, control, and optimization, is based on understanding the heterogeneous interactions of the parts of large socioeconomic systems that function across many sectors and are driven by multiple agents. more

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Eco-evolutionary dynamics of living systems: Applications

Predicting how living systems respond to changing conditions is difficult, as such responses are often at odds with human intuition. Evolution and Ecology Program (EEP) research contributed to a mounting body of literature showing that eco-evolutionary dynamics can potentially exacerbate the worldwide biodiversity crises by causing secondary species extinctions. more

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Eco-evolutionary dynamics of living systems: Theory

2013 saw the culmination of many projects aimed at the conceptual elucidation and technical underpinning of the links between individual-level mechanisms and their population-level ecological and evolutionary consequences, the initial phases of which have already been covered in earlier scientific updates. more

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Environmental resources and development (ERD)

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program group on environmental resources and development (ERD) tackles the multiple interrelationships that exist between the natural environment and the human systems that actually or potentially affect it - population, land use, soil, water, chemicals, climate, crop management systems, and global trade. more

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Equitable governance of common goods

Evolution and Ecology Program (EEP) research on the equitable governance of common goods analyzes the evolution of cooperation in joint enterprises and resource management, with particular emphasis on the nature and impact of governance measures such as positive or negative incentives. more

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Evolutionarily sustainable consumption

While most of the Evolution and Ecology (EEP) Program's studies in the field of exploitation-induced evolution have addressed questions of aquatic food resources and fisheries-induced evolution, the phenomenon of exploitation-induced evolution is relevant for any wild animal or plant population utilized for human consumption. more

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Evolutionary vegetation modeling and management

Evolution and Ecology Program (EEP) research on evolutionary vegetation modeling and management aims at improving models of the formation and maintenance of vegetation diversity, structure, and functioning. more

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Forest Ecosystem Management (FEM): Biomass studies

In 2013 the Forest Ecosystem Management (FEM) research group studied how to manage forests for maximization of forest stock and forest increment, as well as the availability of woody biomass for the energy sector. more

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Geo-Wiki: Good data quality can be achieved from crowdsourcing

A Geo-Wiki study of more than 53,000 samples of human impact and land cover collected from over 60 individuals of varying expertise showed that the non-experts were as good as the experts at identifying human impact on land cover, and with additional training, could perform as well as experts. more

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Integrated assessment of fishery systems

Fisheries play an important role in food security worldwide, but many aquatic food resources are not harvested sustainably. Research in 2013 by the Evolution and Ecology Program (EEP) addressed sustainability and management options in important fishing areas. more

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Integration of models

The Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program has been working to develop a well justified tool for integration of different viewpoints into a single picture. more

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Model performance

The Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program reviewed techniques available across various fields for characterizing the performance of environmental models with a focus on numerical, graphical, and qualitative methods. more

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Modeling flood risk

A major focus of risk modeling work in Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) has been on flood risk, which is often considered the dominant extreme event hazard. more

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New studies map future climate impacts across sectors

The Methods for Economic Decision making under Uncertainty (MEDU) group contributed to the first results of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), a pioneering collaboration within the international scientific community. more

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Nitrogen management offers potential for win-win solutions

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program contributed to papers that highlight how the global nitrogen cycle could change in the 21st century and the extent to which this is reflected in the current set of global emission scenarios. more

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Optimal economic growth

The Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) researchers in 2013 worked on developing new economic growth models capable of generating “green growth” and sustainable development solutions. more

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Optimal management of heterogeneous resources

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) researchers study optimal management of heterogeneous resources, such as fish and forests, which is an important tool for advising policymakers on the best strategies for managing the environment. more

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Overview of Special Projects

Special Projects in 2013 encompassed methodological upgrades to modeling tools and research with stakeholders in China and India with respect to future projects. more

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Policy and science interface (PSI)

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Policy and Science Interface (PSI) group aims to strengthen various aspects of the role played by the ESM research program in the climate and land use change-relevant community. more

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Risk modeling

Comprehensive modeling of the effects of climate change, including extreme events, by RPV  involves advanced techniques and takes into account stakeholder requests and needs.  more

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Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)

Through its integrated assessment work, the Energy (ENE) Program has played a central role in shaping community-wide climate research activities, including the so-called Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). more

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Simulations and agent-based modeling

In 2013 the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program carried out simulations of the actions and interactions of autonomous agents in order to assess their effects on systems as a whole. more

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Sustainable Forest Management - Certification

The Policy Science Interface (PSI) group of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program worked with ESM's Earth Observation Systems (EOS) to develop a new methodology to support assessment of, and decision making for, future forest management certification. more

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Systemic risk and network dynamics

The Evolution and Ecology Program (EEP) is pursuing analyses on the risk of local failures contagiously spreading through an entire system, where systems are interconnected, as in financial markets, food-supply chains, disease dynamics, food webs, energy grids, transportation networks, and information flows, as well as the underlying network dynamics of such systems. more

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Systemic risks and networks

The Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program in 2013 looked at systems marked by interlinkages and interdependencies, where failure of one entity or a cluster of entities can cause a cascading failure capable of bringing down an entire system. more

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The importance of governance

New global emission scenarios enable a fresh perspective on air pollution trends in different world regions, and in particular on the importance of proper governance for future air quality. more

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Water at the Crossroads

IIASA Director General Prof. Dr. Pavel Kabat calls for a long-term systems approach to water research, and new partnerships with developing countries aimed at increasing education and cooperation. more

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Water Futures and Solutions

The Water Futures and Solutions: World Water Scenarios Initiative (WFaS), was launched in 2013, and aims to find robust solutions to water challenges under different future development pathways. more

North America


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Uncertainty in environmental services

Total uncertainty in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions changes over time due to “learning” and the structural change in the GHG emitters. Understanding uncertainty over time is important to improve setting emission targets in the future and was key to the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program's work in 2013. more

South America


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European consumption impacts world forests

Agricultural products imported to Europe accounted for more than one-third of global deforestation associated with international agricultural trade, according to a new policy-oriented report prepared by a European consortium including IIASA, and published by the European Commission. more

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New LANDFLOW model extensions developed

The LANDFLOW model, developed at IIASA, was applied to estimate how deforestation is connected to agricultural production in each country and how it relates to EU consumption via international trade. more

Africa


Fisheries-induced disruptive selection

Pietro Landi assesses how the interplay between natural and artificial selection, in the simplest setting in which fishery and stock co-evolve, could lead to trait diversification due to disruptive selection. more

Asia


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Evolution of mediated cooperative interactions

Melissa Whitaker, University of California, Davis, outlines the results of her YSSP project in which she modeled the effects of interaction asymmetries in order to explore the role of functional diversity on interaction dynamics. more

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Evolutionary dynamics in biological and social systems

Xiaojie Chen is working with the Evolutionary Ecology Program (EEP) to assess evolutionary dynamics in biological and social systems, specially the emergence and stability of cooperation in social networks, using evolutionary game theory and adaptive dynamics. more

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Natural disaster and social-ecological transitions

Wei Liu discusses his postdoctoral work which relates to the transitioning human-environment relationships in the community of the Wolong Nature Reserve, China, in particular the period after it was struck by the 7.9 Mw Wenchuan earthquake. more

Europe


Fisheries-induced disruptive selection

Pietro Landi assesses how the interplay between natural and artificial selection, in the simplest setting in which fishery and stock co-evolve, could lead to trait diversification due to disruptive selection. more

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Sustainable bioenergy production

Nicklas Forsell is working with the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program with a focus on improving understanding of forest ecosystems and devising sustainable management strategies for them, both as sinks for carbon and as potential providers of fuel for energy. more

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The future of Swedish forests in a global perspective

Eva-Maria Nordström discusses her postdoctoral work which aims to link two IIASA models and one Swedish model to create scenarios consistent with the IPCC Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) for a set of alternative Swedish forest management strategies. more

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What if the Dutch started worrying about flood risk?

Trond Husby summarizes his YSSP project, in which he analyzed the macroeconomic impacts on the Dutch economy that would occur if there were a partial shift in the allocation of risk from the public to the private sector. more

North America


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Evolution of mediated cooperative interactions

Melissa Whitaker, University of California, Davis, outlines the results of her YSSP project in which she modeled the effects of interaction asymmetries in order to explore the role of functional diversity on interaction dynamics. more

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Land classification and governance

Carl Salk is working with the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program to develop statistical tools for comparing land classification error rates on maps with different cover categories and with the Risk Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program on protocol development for adaptive governance arrangements for tropical forest ecosystems. more

South America


 


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Last edited: 17 April 2014

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IIASA Secretary for National Member Organizations

Exploratory and Special Projects

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