United States of America

Highlights of the numerous collaborations between IIASA and US researchers in 2015 included global model comparisons in agriculture, governance of transboundary water resources, and identifying feasible pathways to achieving the sustainable development goals.

Map of USA

Map of USA

Multiple research collaborations between IIASA and US researchers continued in 2015. Highlights included:

  1. A new research project, The World in 2050, is  deriving viable pathways for achieving all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  2. An ongoing collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania on developing methods to enhance flood resilience; and
  3. Research into the feasibility and economics of achieving deep cuts in non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, fourteen young scientists from the US or studying in the US took part in IIASA's program's for young scientists in 2015.

USA


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Conceptualizing and quantifying resilience and sustainability

Researchers in the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program contribute to the understanding of sustainability by applying the experiences of their particular studies, each of which deals with the concept in its own way. This allows for development of diverse, system-analytic approaches to quantifying sustainability. more

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Advances in control theory

Researchers in the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program make advances in contemporary control theory related to control under incomplete information, control of distributed systems, and construction of the attainability domains. more

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Agro-Environmental Systems

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Agro-Ecological Systems (AES) group worked to advance global and regional gridded crop modeling, investigating the impacts of future climate change and nutrient depletion. The vulnerability of crop production to climate change was a key focus for the group. more

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Alternative-fuel vehicles

In the past, integrated assessment models have typically relied on average “per-capita characteristics” of consumers and have, therefore, fallen short in representing behavioral factors in a detailed way. The Energy Program’s MESSAGE modeling team has enhanced its treatment of these factors, focusing in particular on modeling decisions to purchase light-duty vehicles. more

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Benefit sharing in emissions offsetting

The Methods for Economic Decision-Making under Uncertainty (MEDU) group has identified promising approaches to emissions offsetting in the energy sector under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism. These include increasing risk-aversion of energy producers, exposing risk-averse behavior, and activating a benefit-sharing mechanism. more

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Climate change impacts and mitigation across spatial scales

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Environmental Resources and Development (ERD) group has used the GLOBIOM model to analyze the consequences of climate change for the agricultural sector, with a focus on food availability consequences in developing countries. more

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Enhancing community flood resilience

In collaboration with the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program the Water (WAT) Program has continued to contribute to methods to enhance flood resilience. To this end, WAT has led development of the Flood Resilience System Framework (FLORES) to integrate disaster risk management and development perspectives. more

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Enhancing water-system resilience

The Water (WAT) Program has extended work begun by the Global Water Systems Project, which focuses on human and ecosystem water security and assessing the investments required to enhance the resilience of the global water system over a 100-year time period. more

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Environmental governance of transboundary water resources

The Water (WAT) Program has developed comparative approaches for improving environmental governance of transboundary water resources along the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin and the Colorado River Basin, along the border between the US and Mexico. more

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Global air pollution

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program takes a unique systems perspective that integrates physical, social, economic, and policy aspects of air quality management. In 2015, the program introduced these aspects into numerous new policy and scientific initiatives that address the role of air quality management for improving human wellbeing and contribute to multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. more

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Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy, and Land

The Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) Program played a key role in the proposal for a large-scale, multi-year research project to analyze the synergies and trade-offs between different natural resource systems: Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy, and Land (IS-WEL). more

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Modeling strategic interactions

Advanced System Analysis (ASA) Program researchers develop game-theoretic methods to better understand the strategic interactions between multiple agents and model the behavior of countries involved in international environmental agreements to find ways of inducing cooperation. more

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Monitoring deforestation with Picture Pile

Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program researchers are building a deforestation map with the help of players in their new Geo-Wiki game, Picture Pile. An innovative method to allow players to learn about the accuracy of their choices will also improve the quality of the data. more

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New tools for modeling urban climate

The World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) initiative, for which Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program researchers play a crucial role, has started to gain momentum in the urban climate modeling community. WUDAPT is an attempt to classify all cities in the world using a standardized classification scheme based on local climate zones [1]. more

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Non-CO2 gases and ambitious climate targets

In view of the global climate targets that were agreed in Paris in 2015, the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program revisited the feasibility and economics of achieving deep cuts in non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. This analysis revealed much higher emissions from global oil production and extended shale gas extraction than previously thought. more

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Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

The Energy Program (ENE) continued to lead the field of socioeconomic scenarios for the integrated assessment of climate change. In 2015, a series of papers were submitted to a special issue of the journal Global Environmental Change, providing a detailed account of the main characteristics of five Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and related integrated assessment scenarios. more

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The World in 2050

The World in 2050 (TWI2050) is an international collaboration launched by IIASA with international partners that will involve almost all research programs at IIASA with a focus on deriving viable pathways for achieving all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more

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Understanding disaster resilience

Questions of fiscal, social, and ecological resilience have become fundamental to addressing the global issues of risk management, climate change adaptation, and transitions to a sustainable future. However, operationalization of the concept has remained elusive; this is where Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program made substantial progress in 2015. more

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Understanding ecosystem services of boreal forests

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Earth Observation Systems (EOS) group has continued their work on boreal forests. In 2015, improvements were made to the Terrestrial Ecosystem Full Verified Carbon Budget (FCA), including updating its ecological and economic aspects, and applying it to the ecosystems of Northern Eurasia. more

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Water Futures and Solutions fast-track analysis

The successful completion of the fast-track analysis under the global Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative, is a major achievement of the Water (WAT) Program. The analysis has yielded the first set of multi-model, quantified scenarios of water demand with a focus on the domestic, industrial, and energy sectors. more

North America


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Environmental governance of transboundary water resources

The Water (WAT) Program has developed comparative approaches for improving environmental governance of transboundary water resources along the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin and the Colorado River Basin, along the border between the US and Mexico. more

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From hemispheric pollution to air quality in street canyons

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has developed a new method that assigns particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to emission sources at the different scales of origin. This work allowed the implications of the recent emission scandal on local air quality to be quantified. more

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Linking climate and development policies

The project Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing (CD-LINKS) kicked off in September 2015. CD-LINKS aims to study the links between climate policies and multiple sustainable development objectives. more

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Network dynamics and systemic risks

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers develop dynamic network models of ecological, economic, and social systems; in particular, financial systemic risk and cascading failures in the inter-bank lending network are studied. more

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Nitrogen management and inequality among farmers

Modeling by the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has shown that efforts to reduce the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) precursor emissions will not deliver the expected drop in air pollution unless a reduction of agricultural ammonia (NH3) emissions is achieved. more

USA


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Abstract Algebraic Tools for Systems Analysis

Daniel Jessie of the Advanced Systems Analysis Program is working to introduce a new mathematical approach to understanding the nature of dynamical network processes where standard mathematical tools can only provide analytical solutions in the simplest cases. more

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Environmental governance of transboundary water resources

The Water (WAT) Program has developed comparative approaches for improving environmental governance of transboundary water resources along the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin and the Colorado River Basin, along the border between the US and Mexico. more

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To REDD or not to REDD?

Maria Rivera, of the University of Maryland, USA, used a comprehensive review to examine whether REDD+ is the best policy instrument for the Virunga Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. more

North America


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Environmental governance of transboundary water resources

The Water (WAT) Program has developed comparative approaches for improving environmental governance of transboundary water resources along the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin and the Colorado River Basin, along the border between the US and Mexico. more


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Last edited: 11 April 2016

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