Science Inventory

Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM)


Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.


The model is designed to assess various climate change policies and technology strategies for the globe over long time scales.


The Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) is an integrated assessment model that links the world's energy, agriculture and land use systems with a climate model. The model is designed to assess various climate change policies and technology strategies for the globe over long time scales. GCAM runs in 5-year time steps from 1990 to 2100 and includes 14 geographic regions in the energy/economy module and 151 regions in the agriculture and land use module. The model tracks emissions and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (CO2 and non-CO2), carbonaceous aerosols, sulfur dioxide, and reactive gases and provides estimates of the associated climate impacts, such as global mean temperature rise and sea level rise. GCAM has been updated many times since the early eighties to include additional technology options and more detailed information about agriculture and land use systems. GCAM can incorporate carbon taxes and carbon constraints in conjunction with the numerous technology options including carbon capture and sequestration. The model has been exercised extensively to explore the effect of technology and policy on climate change and/or the cost of mitigating climate change. More recent applications of the model have begun to explore the role of terrestrial system and its interactions with the energy and climate systems. GCAM is a community model developed and run at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, University of Maryland. For more information please visit the GCAM Web page and links below: GCAM has been evaluated and reviewed in multiple peer-reviewed publications. A full list of GCAM publications is available at: Some examples include: Edmonds, J., and J. Reilly (1985) Global Energy: Assessing the Future (Oxford University Press, New York) pp.317. Edmonds, J., M. Wise, H. Pitcher, R. Richels, T. Wigley, and C. MacCracken. (1997) “An Integrated Assessment of Climate Change and the Accelerated Introduction of Advanced Energy Technologies”, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 1, pp. 311-39. Kim, S.H., J. Edmonds, J. Lurz, S. J. Smith, and M. Wise (2006) “The ObjECTS Framework for Integrated Assessment: Hybrid Modeling of Transportation ” Energy Journal.


Full list of GCAM publications   Exit

Record Details:

Record Released: 08/10/2009
Record Last Revised: 05/15/2019
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 212503