About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Simulation tools for climate action planning

I had a chance to search and review simulation tools for climate action plan. Climate action plan requires to assess future effect of carbon reduction efforts on energy and the environment. These tools are used to compare various policy scenarios. Here is the list of tools.
  • Climate Rapid Overview and Decision-support Simulator (C-ROADS) is a user friendly simulation tool that provides climate simulation (temperature and sea level change) along with emission and energy demand simulation. C-ROADS is an accounting type model. With accounting model, users can fully control coefficients of the model. IPCC endorsed the methodology of C-ROADS. Note that instead of C-ROADS, I reviewed C-LEARN which is an on-line evaluation version of C-ROADS. C-LEARN requires only three sets of data, but C-ROADS may require more data.
  • Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) is an extensive simulator for GHG emission and energy demand forecast. LEAP is used by 85 countries for their official UNFCCC GHG inventory report. LEAP provides default data set for countries, however it does not provide default data for U.S. states. LEAP is an accounting type model.
  • MARket ALocation (MARKAL) model was originally developed by International Energy Agency (IEA) in the late 1980s. Nowadays, its variations are broadly used. Northeast MARKAL (NE-MARKAL) was developed by NESCAUM for the U.S. northeast states including New York. MARKAL is basically an optimization type model which assumes optimization activities of market participants in economies. MARKAL requires a separate procedure for GHG emission estimation.
  • Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA) by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) seemed promising, although it has not been released yet, considered ICLEI’s other products, such as Clean Air and Climate Protection (CACP).
  • URBEMIS, and Sustainable Communities Model (SCM) are commercially available simulation packages developed by private companies. URBEMIS is tailored to California, using emission factors of California Air Resources Board’s EMFAC model. This simulator is specialized in estimating effects from construction. SCM builds and compares sophisticated scenarios with nine variables including socio-economic ones.
It is hard to tell which model is the best. Each model has specific use. C-ROADS seems useful in general cases because it provides climate simulation and requires low level of data.

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