September 6, 2019
Journal Article

Integrated human-earth system modeling-state of the science and future directions

Benjamin Bond-Lamberty
Katherine Calvin
Research on humans and the Earth system has occurred separately historically, with different teams and models devoted to each. Increasingly, however, these communities and models are becoming intricately linked. In this review, we survey the literature on integrated human-Earth system models, quantify the direction and strength of feedbacks in those models, and put them in context of other, more frequently considered, feedbacks in the Earth system. We find that such feedbacks have the potential to alter both the human and Earth systems; however, there is significant uncertainty in these results, and the number of truly integrated studies remains small. More research, more models, and more studies are needed to robustly quantify the sign and magnitude of human-Earth system feedbacks. Integrating human and earth models entails significant complexity and cost, and researchers should carefully assess the costs and benefits of doing so with respect to the object of study.

Revised: September 6, 2019 | Published: June 11, 2018

Calvin K.V., and B. Bond-Lamberty. 2018. "Integrated human-earth system modeling-state of the science and future directions." Environmental Research Letters 13, no. 6:Article No. 063006. PNNL-SA-131869. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aac642