Models and Approaches for Integrated Assessments

Integrated assessments combine information and insights from the physical and biological sciences with information and insights from the social sciences (including economics, geography, psychology, and sociology) to provide comprehensive analyses that are sometimes more applicable to decision making than analyses of human or environmental systems in isolation. Integrated assessments—which are done through either formal modeling or through informal linkages among relevant disciplines— have been used to develop insights into the possible effectiveness and repercussions of specific environmental policy choices (including, but not limited to, climate change policy) and to evaluate the impacts, vulnerability, and adaptive capacity of both human and natural systems to a variety of environmental stresses. Several different kinds of integrated assessment approaches are discussed in the paragraphs below.

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