Research priorities in land use and land-cover change for the Earth system and integrated assessment modelling


  • Kathy Hibbard,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Boulevard, Richland, WA 99354, USA.
    • National Center for Atmospheric Research, Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA.
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  • Anthony Janetos,

    1. Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/University of Maryland,5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500, College Park, MD 20740, USA
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  • Detlef P. van Vuuren,

    1. Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, PO Box 303,3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
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  • Julia Pongratz,

    1. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Global Ecology, 260 Panama St., Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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  • Steven K. Rose,

    1. Electric Power Research Institute
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  • Richard Betts,

    1. Head of Climate Impacts, Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom
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    • The contribution of Richard Betts was written in the course of his employment at the Met Office, UK and is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

  • Martin Herold,

    1. Center of Geo-Information, Department of Environmental Science, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3,6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • Johannes J. Feddema

    1. Department of Geography, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66049, USA
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  • The issues put forward in this work are based on recent interactions of the IAM and ESM communities, i.e. two dedicated workshops of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC) and the Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) core project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) held in February and August 2008.


This special issue has highlighted recent and innovative methods and results that integrate observations and modelling analyses of regional to global aspect of biophysical and biogeochemical interactions of land-cover change with the climate system. Both the Earth System and the Integrated Assessment modeling communities recognize the importance of an accurate representation of land use and land-cover change to understand and quantify the interactions and feedbacks with the climate and socio-economic systems, respectively. To date, cooperation between these communities has been limited. Based on common interests, this work discusses research priorities in representing land use and land-cover change for improved collaboration across modelling, observing and measurement communities. Major research topics in land use and land-cover change are those that help us better understand (1) the interaction of land use and land cover with the climate system (e.g. carbon cycle feedbacks), (2) the provision of goods and ecosystem services by terrestrial (natural and anthropogenic) land-cover types (e.g. food production), (3) land use and management decisions and (4) opportunities and limitations for managing climate change (for both mitigation and adaptation strategies). Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright.