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A Protocol for an Intercomparison of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Models Using Harmonized Land-Use & Climate Scenarios

April 17, 2018 |

This paper was originally published in Biorxiv.

Abstract: To support the assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IPBES Expert Group on Scenarios and Models is carrying out an intercomparison of biodiversity and ecosystem services models using harmonized scenarios (BES-SIM). The goals of BES-SIM are:

  • (1) to project the global impacts of land use and climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services (i.e. nature contributions to people) over the coming decades, compared to the 20th century, using a set of common metrics at multiple scales, and
  • (2) to identify model uncertainties and research gaps through the comparisons of projected biodiversity and ecosystem services across models.

BES-SIM uses three scenarios combining specific Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) and Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) to explore a wide range of land-use change and climate change futures. This paper describes the rationale for scenarios selection, the process of harmonizing input data for land use, based on the second phase of the Land Use Harmonization Project (LUH2), and climate, the biodiversity and ecosystem service models used, the core simulations carried out, the harmonization of the model output metrics, and the treatment of uncertainty.

The results of this collaborative modelling project will support the ongoing global assessment of IPBES, strengthen ties between IPBES and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios and modelling processes, advise the Convention on Biological Diversity on its development of a post-2020 strategic plans and conservation goals, and inform the development of a new generation of nature-centred scenarios.

Read on and access the full paper at: Biorxiv.

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