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Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate

Staff information

Gokul Iyer

Earth Scientist


Gokul Iyer is a scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Joint Global Change Research Institute. Dr. Iyer's research focuses on investigating issues at the intersections of energy, land, water using multi-sector multi-scale human-Earth system models. Currently, he coordinates the development and application of a state-level model of the U.S. (GCAM-USA) embedded within a global human-Earth system model (GCAM).

Research Interests

  • Human-Earth system modeling
  • Energy system transformations
  • Technology and Technological change
  • Sustainable Development

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Environmental Policy, University of Maryland, USA.
  • Master of Technology, Energy Systems Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India.
  • Bachelor of Technology, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India.

PNNL Publications


  • Kanyako F., J.R. Lamontagne, A.C. Snyder, J.F. Morris, G.C. Iyer, F. Dolan, and Y. Ou. 2024. "Compounding uncertainties in economic and population growth increase tail risks for relevant outcomes across sectors." Earth's Future 12, no. 1:Art. No. e2023EF003930. PNNL-SA-186600. doi:10.1029/2023EF003930


  • Campbell A.M., M. Ghosal, N. Voisin, S. Davis, D. Bhatnagar, G.C. Iyer, and H.C. McJeon, et al. 2023. Integrated Assessment Modeling of Grid Resilience: GCAM-to-PCM Scoping - Methodology Report. PNNL-35165. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Integrated Assessment Modeling of Grid Resilience: GCAM-to-PCM Scoping - Methodology Report
  • Graham N.T., G.C. Iyer, T. Wild, F.C. Dolan, J.R. Lamontagne, and K.V. Calvin. 2023. "Agricultural Market Integration Preserves Future Global Water Resources." One Earth 6, no. 9:1235-1245. PNNL-SA-171216. doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2023.08.003
  • Ou Y., G.C. Iyer, H.C. McJeon, R. Cui, A. Zhao, K. O'Keefe, and M. Zhao, et al. 2023. "State-by-state energy-water-land-health impacts of the US net-zero emissions goal." Energy and Climate Change 4. PNNL-SA-181046. doi:10.1016/j.egycc.2023.100117


  • Binsted M.T., G.C. Iyer, P.L. Patel, N.T. Graham, Y. Ou, Z. Khan, and N. Kholod, et al. 2022. "GCAM-USA v5.3_water_dispatch: Integrated modeling of subnational US energy, water, and land systems within a global framework." Geoscientific Model Development 15, no. 6:2533-2559. PNNL-SA-162677. doi:10.5194/gmd-15-2533-2022
  • Edwards M.R., Y. Cui, M. Bindl, N. Hultman, K. Mathur, H.C. McJeon, and G.C. Iyer, et al. 2022. "Quantifying the regional stranded asset risks from new coal plants under 1.5°C." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 2:Art. No. 24029. PNNL-ACT-SA-10559. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac4ec2
  • Iyer G.C., Y. Ou, J.A. Edmonds, A.A. Fawcett, N. Hultman, J. McFarland, and J.G. Fuhrman, et al. 2022. "Ratcheting of climate pledges needed to limit peak global warming." Nature Climate Change 12, no. 12:1129 - 1135. PNNL-SA-172425. doi:10.1038/s41558-022-01508-0
  • Iyer G.C., Y. Ou, J.A. Edmonds, A.A. Fawcett, N. Hultman, J. McFarland, and J.G. Fuhrman, et al. 2022. "The path to 1.5 °C requires ratcheting of climate pledges." Nature Climate Change 12, no. 12:1092-1093. PNNL-SA-177898. doi:10.1038/s41558-022-01517-z
  • Ou Y., G.C. Iyer, A.A. Fawcett, N.E. Hultman, H.C. McJeon, S. Ragnauth, and S.J. Smith, et al. 2022. "Role of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in limiting global warming." One Earth 5, no. 12:1312-1315. PNNL-ACT-SA-10703. doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2022.11.012
  • Ou Y., G.C. Iyer, J.A. Edmonds, A. Fawcett, A. Fawcett, N. Hultman, and J. McFarland, et al. 2022. "Transparency crucial to Paris climate scenarios-Response." Science 375, no. 6583:828 - 828. PNNL-SA-169866. doi:10.1126/science.abn9667
  • Pressburger L.D., M. Evans, S. Yu, Y. Cui, A. Somani, and G.C. Iyer. 2022. A Comprehensive Economic Coal Transition in South Asia. PNNL-32383. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. A Comprehensive Economic Coal Transition in South Asia
  • Sampedro Martinez de Estivariz J., G.C. Iyer, S.M. Msangi, S.T. Waldhoff, M.I. Hejazi, and J.A. Edmonds. 2022. "Implications of Different Income Distributions for Future Residential Energy Demand in the U.S." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 1:Art. No. 014031. PNNL-SA-157121. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac43df
  • Zapata V., D. Gernaat, S.G. Yalew, S. Santos Da Silva, G.C. Iyer, M.I. Hejazi, and D. Van Vuuren. 2022. "Climate change impacts on the energy system: A model comparison." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 3:Art. No. 34036. PNNL-SA-158893. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac5141
  • Zhang Y., M.T. Binsted, G.C. Iyer, S.H. Kim, T. Wild, and M. Zhao. 2022. "Long-term basin-scale hydropower expansion under alternative scenarios in a global multisector model." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 11:Art. No. 114029. PNNL-SA-176400. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac9ac9


  • Cohen S., G.C. Iyer, M. Brown, J. Macknick, M.A. Wise, M.T. Binsted, and N. Voisin, et al. 2021. "How structural differences influence cross-model consistency: An electric sector case study." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 144. PNNL-SA-149703. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2021.111009
  • Duan H., S. Zhou, K. Jiang, C. Bertram, M. Harmsen, E. Kriegler, and D. Van Vuuren, et al. 2021. "Assessing China’s efforts to pursue the 1.5 degrees C warming limit." Science 372, no. 6540:378-385. PNNL-ACT-SA-10543. doi:10.1126/science.aba8767
  • Fragkos P., H. van Soest, R. Schaeffer, L. Reedman, A. Koberle, N. Macaluso, and S. Evangelopoulou, et al. 2021. "Energy System Transitions and Low-carbon Pathways in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU-28, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, and United States." Energy 216. PNNL-ACT-SA-10480. doi:10.1016/
  • Graham N.T., G.C. Iyer, M.A. Wise, M. Hejazi, and T. Wild. 2021. "Future evolution of virtual water trading in the United States electricity sector." Environmental Research Letters 16, no. 12:Art. No. 124010. PNNL-SA-164375. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac3289
  • Graham N.T., G.C. Iyer, M.I. Hejazi, S.H. Kim, P.L. Patel, and M.T. Binsted. 2021. "Agricultural impacts of sustainable water use in the United States." Scientific Reports 11, no. 1:17917. PNNL-SA-155855. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-96243-5
  • Harmsen M., E. Kriegler, D. vanVuuren, K. van der Wijst, G. Luderer, R. Cui, and O. Dessens, et al. 2021. "Integrated Assessment Model Diagnostics: Key indicators and model evolution." Environmental Research Letters 16, no. 5:054046. PNNL-ACT-SA-10534. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/abf964
  • Khan Z., G.C. Iyer, P.L. Patel, S.H. Kim, M.I. Hejazi, C.D. Burleyson, and M.A. Wise. 2021. "Impacts of long-term temperature change and variability on electricity investments." Nature Communications 12, no. 1:Article No. 1643. PNNL-SA-150975. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-21785-1
  • Khan Z., T.B. Wild, G.C. Iyer, M.I. Hejazi, and C.R. Vernon. 2021. "The future evolution of energy-water-agriculture interconnectivity across the U.S." Environmental Research Letters 16, no. 6:065010. PNNL-SA-159533. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac046c
  • Li X., Y. Zhou, M.I. Hejazi, M.A. Wise, C.R. Vernon, G.C. Iyer, and W. Chen. 2021. "Global urban growth between 1870 and 2100 from integrated high resolution mapped data and urban dynamic modeling." Communications Earth & Environment 2. PNNL-SA-158560. doi:10.1038/s43247-021-00273-w
  • Ou Y., G.C. Iyer, L. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, A.A. Fawcett, N. Hultman, and J. McFarland, et al. 2021. "Can updated climate pledges limit warming well below 2°C? Increased ambition and implementation are essential." Science 374, no. 6568:693-695. PNNL-SA-163608. doi:10.1126/science.abl8976
  • Ou Y., M.T. Binsted, G.C. Iyer, P.L. Patel, and M.A. Wise. 2021. "US state-level capacity expansion pathways with improved modeling of the power sector dynamics within a multisector model." Energy Strategy Reviews 38. PNNL-SA-161771. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2021.100739
  • Peng W., G.C. Iyer, M.T. Binsted, J. Marlon, L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, and D. Victor. 2021. "The surprisingly inexpensive cost of state-driven emission control strategies." Nature Climate Change 11, no. 9:738-756. PNNL-ACT-SA-10452. doi:10.1038/s41558-021-01128-0
  • Santos Da Silva S., M.I. Hejazi, G.C. Iyer, T. Wild, M.T. Binsted, F. Miralles-Wilhelm, and P.L. Patel, et al. 2021. "Power sector investment implications of climate impacts on renewable resources in Latin America and the Caribbean." Nature Communications 12, no. 1:Article No. 1276. PNNL-SA-154178. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-21502-y
  • Santos Da Silva S.R., G.C. Iyer, T.B. Wild, M. Hejazi, C.R. Vernon, M.T. Binsted, and F. Miralles-Wilhelm. 2021. "The implications of uncertain renewable resource potentials for global wind and solar electricity projections." Environmental Research Letters 16, no. 12:Art. No. 124060. PNNL-SA-162946. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac3c6b
  • van Soest H., L. Aleluia Reis, L.B. Baptista, C. Bertram, J. Despres, L. Drouet, and M. den Elzen, et al. 2021. "GLOBAL ROLL-OUT OF COMPREHESIVE POLICY MEASURES MAY AID IN BRIDGING EMISSIONS GAP." Nature Communications 12. PNNL-ACT-SA-10536. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-26595-z
  • Vernon C.R., J.S. Rice, N. Zuljevic, K. Mongird, K.D. Nelson, G.C. Iyer, and N. Voisin, et al. 2021. "cerf: A Python package to evaluate the feasibility and costs of power plant siting for alternative futures." Journal of Open Source Software 6, no. 65:Art. No. 3601. PNNL-SA-164611. doi:10.21105/joss.03601
  • Zhao M., M.T. Binsted, T.B. Wild, Z. Khan, B.N. Yarlagadda, G.C. Iyer, and C.R. Vernon, et al. 2021. "plutus: An R package to calculate electricity investments and stranded assets from the Global Change Analysis Model (GCAM)." Journal of Open Source Software 6, no. 65:3212. PNNL-SA-162209. doi:10.21105/joss.03212
  • Zhao X., K.V. Calvin, M.A. Wise, and G.C. Iyer. 2021. "The role of global agricultural market integration in multiregional economic modeling: using hindcast experiments to validate an Armington model." Economic Analysis and Policy 72. PNNL-SA-158709. doi:10.1016/j.eap.2021.07.007


  • Binsted M.T., G.C. Iyer, Y. Cui, Z. Khan, K.R. Dorheim, and L.E. Clarke. 2020. "Evaluating long-term model-based scenarios of the energy system." Energy Strategy Reviews 32. PNNL-SA-150857. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2020.100551
  • Burleyson C.D., G.C. Iyer, M.I. Hejazi, S.H. Kim, P. Kyle, J.S. Rice, and A.D. Smith, et al. 2020. "Future western U.S. building electricity consumption in response to climate and population drivers: A comparative study of the impact of model structure." Energy 208. PNNL-SA-151017. doi:10.1016/
  • Edmonds J.A., C. Nichols, M. Adamantiades, J. Bistline, J.E. Huster, G.C. Iyer, and N. Johnson, et al. 2020. "Could congressionally mandated incentives lead to deployment of large-scale CO2 capture, facilities for enhanced oil recovery CO2 markets and geologic CO2 storage?." Energy Policy 146. PNNL-SA-154457. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111775
  • Feijoo F., G.C. Iyer, M.T. Binsted, and J.A. Edmonds. 2020. "US energy system transitions under cumulative emissions budgets." Climatic Change 162. PNNL-ACT-SA-10320. doi:10.1007/s10584-020-02670-0
  • Roelfsema M., H. van Soest, M. Harmsen, D. Van Vuuren, C. Bertram, M. den Elzen, and N. Hohne, et al. 2020. "Taking stock of national climate policies to evaluate implementation of the Paris Agreement." Nature Communications 11, no. 1:Article No. 2096. PNNL-ACT-SA-10488. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-15414-6
  • Schaeffer R., A. Koberle, H. van Soest, C. Bertram, G. Luderer, K. Riahi, and V. Krey, et al. 2020. "Comparing Transformation Pathways Across Major Economies." Climatic Change 162, no. 4:1787-1803. PNNL-ACT-SA-10439. doi:10.1007/s10584-020-02837-9
  • Yalew S.G., M. Van Vliet, D. Gernaat, F. Ludwig, A. Miara, C. Park, and E. Byers, et al. 2020. "Impacts of Climate Change on Energy Systems in Global and Regional Scenarios." Nature Energy 5, no. 10:794-802. PNNL-SA-145429. doi:10.1038/s41560-020-0664-z


  • Bond-Lamberty B., K.R. Dorheim, Y. Cui, R.L. Horowitz, A.C. Snyder, K.V. Calvin, and L. Feng, et al. 2019. "gcamdata: An R Package for Preparation, Synthesis, and Tracking of Input Data for the GCAM Integrated Human-Earth Systems Model." Journal of Open Research Software 7, no. 1:Article No. 6. PNNL-SA-135553. doi:10.5334/jors.232
  • Calvin K.V., P.L. Patel, L.E. Clarke, G.R. Asrar, B. Bond-Lamberty, R. Cui, and A. Di Vittorio, et al. 2019. "GCAM v5.1: Representing the linkages between energy, water, land, climate, and economic systems." Geoscientific Model Development 12, no. 2:677-698. PNNL-SA-137098. doi:10.5194/gmd-12-677-2019
  • Cui R., N. Hultman, M.R. Edwards, L. He, A. Sen, K. Surana, and H.C. McJeon, et al. 2019. "Quantifying operational lifetimes for coal power plants under the Paris goals." Nature Communications 10. PNNL-ACT-SA-10417. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12618-3
  • Iyer G.C. 2019. "A Decent Life." Nature Energy 4, no. 12:1010-1011. PNNL-ACT-SA-10451. doi:10.1038/s41560-019-0496-x
  • Iyer G.C., M. Brown, S. Cohen, J. Macknick, P.L. Patel, M.A. Wise, and M.T. Binsted, et al. 2019. "Improving consistency among models of overlapping scope in multi-sector studies: The case of electricity capacity expansion scenarios." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 116. PNNL-SA-134710. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2019.109416
  • Krey V., F. Guo, P. Kolp, W. Zhou, R. Schaeffer, A. Awasthy, and C. Bertram, et al. 2019. "Looking under the hood: A comparison of techno-economic assumptions across national and global integrated assessment models." Energy 172. PNNL-ACT-SA-10389. doi:10.1016/
  • Liu L., M.I. Hejazi, G.C. Iyer, and B. Forman. 2019. "Implications of water constraints on electricity capacity expansion in the United States." Nature Sustainability 2, no. 3:206-213. PNNL-SA-129550. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0235-0
  • Luderer G., M. Pehl, A. Arvesen, T. Gibon, B. Bodirsky, H. Sytze de Boer, and O. Fricko, et al. 2019. "Environmental co-benefits and adverse side-effects of alternative power sector decarbonization strategies." Nature Communications 10. PNNL-ACT-SA-10352. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13067-8
  • Wise M.A., P.L. Patel, Z. Khan, S.H. Kim, M.I. Hejazi, and G.C. Iyer. 2019. "Representing power sector detail and flexibility in a multi-sector model." Energy Strategy Reviews 26. PNNL-SA-138629. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2019.100411


  • Feijoo F., G.C. Iyer, C. Avraam, S.A. Siddiqui, L.E. Clarke, S. Sankaranarayanan, and M.T. Binsted, et al. 2018. "The future of natural gas infrastructure development in the United states." Applied Energy 228. PNNL-SA-132268. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.06.037
  • Fragkos P., K. Fragkiadakis, L. Paroussos, R. Pierfederici, S.S. Vishwanathan, A. Koberle, and G.C. Iyer, et al. 2018. "Coupling national and global models to explore policy impacts of NDCs." Energy Policy 118. PNNL-ACT-SA-10309. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.002
  • Hodson E.L., M. Brown, S. Cohen, S. Showalter, M.A. Wise, F. Wood, and J. Caron, et al. 2018. "U.S. Energy Sector Impacts of Technology Innovation, Fuel Price, and Electric Sector CO2 Policy: Results from the EMF 32 Model Intercomparison Study." Energy Economics 73. PNNL-SA-133176. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2018.03.027
  • Iyer G.C., and J.A. Edmonds. 2018. "Energy modeling: Interpreting energy scenarios." Nature Energy 3. PNNL-ACT-SA-10305. doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0145-9
  • Iyer G.C., K.V. Calvin, L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, N. Hultman, C.A. Hartin, and H.C. McJeon, et al. 2018. "Implications of sustainable development considerations for comparability across nationally determined contributions." Nature Climate Change 8. PNNL-SA-121202. doi:10.1038/s41558-017-0039-z
  • McCollum D., W. Zhou, C. Bertram, H. Sytze de Boer, V. Bosetti, S. Busch, and J. Despres, et al. 2018. "Energy investment needs for fulfilling the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals." Nature Energy 3, no. 7:589-599. PNNL-ACT-SA-10308. doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0179-z


  • Davidson C.L., R.T. Dahowski, H.C. McJeon, L.E. Clarke, G.C. Iyer, and M. Muratori. 2017. "The value of CCS under current policy scenarios: NDCs and beyond." Energy Procedia 114. PNNL-SA-121411. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1885
  • Iyer G.C., and J.A. Edmonds. 2017. "Emission scenarios: Explaining differences." Nature Climate Change 7. PNNL-ACT-SA-10208. doi:10.1038/nclimate3200
  • Iyer G.C., C.M. Ledna, L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, H.C. McJeon, P. Kyle, and J. Williams. 2017. "Measuring Progress from Nationally Determined Contributions to Mid-Century Strategies." Nature Climate Change 7. PNNL-ACT-SA-10269. doi:10.1038/s41558-017-0005-9


  • Aldy J., W. Pizer, M. Tavoni, L. Reis, K. Akimoto, G.J. Blanford, and C. Carraro, et al. 2016. "Economic Tools to Promote Transparency and Comparability in the Paris Agreement." Nature Climate Change 6. PNNL-ACT-SA-10174. doi:10.1038/nclimate3106
  • Iyer G.C., L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, and N. Hultman. 2016. "Do national-level policies to promote low-carbon technology deployment pay off for the investor countries?." Energy Policy 98. PNNL-ACT-SA-10178. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.08.017


  • Fawcett A., G.C. Iyer, L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, N. Hultman, H.C. McJeon, and J. Rogelj, et al. 2015. "Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?." Science 350, no. 6265:1168-1169. PNNL-ACT-SA-10111. doi:10.1126/science.aad5761
  • Iyer G.C., J.A. Edmonds, A.A. Fawcett, N. Hultman, J. Alsalam, G.R. Asrar, and K.V. Calvin, et al. 2015. "The contribution of Paris to limit global warming to 2 °C." Environmental Research Letters 10, no. 12:Article No. 125002. PNNL-SA-111720. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/12/125002
  • Iyer G.C., L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, B.P. Flannery, N. Hultman, H.C. McJeon, and D. Victor. 2015. "Improved Representation of Investment Decisions in Assessments of CO2 Mitigation." Nature Climate Change 5, no. 5:436-440. PNNL-ACT-SA-10042. doi:10.1038/nclimate2553
  • Iyer G.C., L.E. Clarke, J.A. Edmonds, N. Hultman, and H.C. McJeon. 2015. "Long-term payoffs of near-term low-carbon deployment policies." Energy Policy 86. PNNL-ACT-SA-10084. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2015.08.004
  • Iyer G.C., N. Hultman, J. Eom, H.C. McJeon, P.L. Patel, and L.E. Clarke. 2015. "Diffusion of low-carbon technologies and the feasibility of long-term climate targets." Technological Forecasting and Social Change 90, no. Part A:103-118. PNNL-SA-93434. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2013.08.025


  • Iyer G.C., N. Hultman, S. Fetter, and S.H. Kim. 2014. "Implications of Small Modular Reactors for Climate Change Mitigation." Energy Economics 45. PNNL-ACT-SA-10015. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2014.06.023

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