By Jan Rotmans, Bert de Vries

Human task is undeniably affecting the charges of swap in lots of components of the worldwide procedure. How this international switch develops into the long run is extremely important, yet modeling those adjustments calls for a posh, built-in review of a variety of disciplines in technology and social technology. This publication describes the constitution, assumptions, philosophy and result of a sophisticated international built-in evaluation version: pursuits. For a couple of destiny instructions chosen at the foundation of divergent cultural views, the version charts worldwide implications by way of inhabitants and well-being, power, land- and water-use and biogeochemical cycles. This built-in evaluate procedure has ended in cutting edge clean insights into international switch. The ebook may also help policymakers formulate the options required for a sustainable worldwide destiny.

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Socio-economic developments exert pressure on the environment and, as a consequence, the state of (parts of) the environmental system changes. These changes have impacts on the socio-economic functions of the environment, sometimes indirectly through environmental functions. Next, these impacts elicit a societal response in the form of actions that feed back upon the driving forces, or directly upon the state or the impacts, through adaptation or curative rather than preventive action. For instance, demographic and consumption pressures lead to changes in land use and energy consumption, which in turn cause environmental and economic impacts which may affect the future evolution of both demographic and consumption patterns.

Policy issues arise at this highest level, so that at this level the design of macro-oriented policies enters the scene. Generally speaking, this level is merely included in models in the form of response variables chosen ex ante. The normative dimension and decision-making processes, also at this level, are not - and mostly cannot be - included in quantitative models. We need to search for complementary methods to address those aspects and nuances of human values (Pahl-Wostl etai, 1996). These three levels of complexity are of course only a simplified representation of a continuous spectrum.

This means that the theories and assumptions used for (sub)model construction should be applicable at different levels of spatial aggregation and for different regions in different periods. We make use of meta-models to include the expertise available on region and localspecific dynamics and data is used as much as possible. Nevertheless, the claim of genericity can only partially be fulfilled. In particular, the search for a generic description of land and water-based processes faces serious problems.

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