The Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) is a global integrated assessment model with particular emphasis on the representation of human earth systems including interactions between the global economic, energy, agricultural, land use and technology systems. GCAM, previously known as MiniCAM, is a community model developed at the Joint Global Change Research Institute of the University of Maryland (http://jgcri.github.io/gcam-doc/).


What does the model do?

Based on the input of all historical data, parameters and possible policies applied to economic, energy, agricultural, land use and technology systems, the model calculates the implications of the proposed scenario for the consumption, production and prices of a broad range of energy and agricultural commodities as well as the implications of the scenario for climate change, land cover change and non-GHG emissions.


What kind of questions can the model address?

  • Example 1: What are the implications of a tax/subsidy on (any energy/agricultural commodity or emission gas) for global climatic change?
  • Example 2: What is the impact of (biomass use, forest growing) on global food prices?
  • Example 3: What impact do stakeholder decisions regarding preferred energy technologies, land usage or climate policies have on climate change, future land use and leakage to other regions?


What kind of answers can the model provide?

  • Example 1: A price for CO2 of $x reduces global mean temperature change by x%
  • Example 2: An increase of electricity generation by purpose-grown biomass with x% increases the global average crop price by x%
  • Example 3: The stakeholder decision to phase out coal-fired power plants in the EU by 2030 reduces climate change by x%, global coal prices by x% and increases land use for biomass by x%
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