On-line Paper

Fedra, K. and Kubat, M. (1994)
A Global Change Impact Assessment System: GIS, Models and Expert Systems. Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change (1993) ISSN:1068-9281, pps. I-657-I-668.


To support comparative analysis of global change scenarios, and provide a common data base and information system for impact assessment, IIASA's Advanced Computer Applications group is developing CLIMEX, a global GIS impact assessment and expert system.

The software system integrates numerous global data sets relevant to environmental and climate change, including IIASA's global climate data base, but also base data such as global elevation, soils, population, and landcover, some of them directly or indirectly derived from satellite imagery and remote sensors. It also includes model generated data sets such as GCM results or output from IIASA's global agricultural models.

The system can also integrate selected models, such as the BIOME vegetation and carbon budget model, or RIVM's IMAGE model, and in particular, its landuse component. For regional and local environmental assessment of generic problems, a number of simulation models for air, surface and groundwater, and coastal marine water quality are implemented, that all use embedded GIS integrating vector and raster data, including satellite imagery.

For the assessment of global change scenarios on both a global and a regional scale, CLIMEX integrates a rule based expert system that translates a given scenario into a set of indicators covering environmental as well as socio-economic aspects. The expert system in combination with the global GIS offers the possibility to use complex rules for classification and assessment. Both qualitative rules as well as algorithmic components in the form of various models and spatial statistics can be combined to develop a very flexible and powerful assessment system.

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