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978 90 6224 987 9


263 pages



Michel den Elzen : Global Environmental Change

An integrated modelling approach



This is the first integrated model to examine the causes and effects of climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion. It is an application of the theoretical model first described by Jan Rotmans (IMAGE: An Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect: Kluwer, 1990). The author uses 'IMAGE' version 1.6, to identify and analyse some of the present major uncertainties, to evaluate the implications of various climate and ozone strategies in the light of future risks, and to develop preventative or ameliorative policies which reduce risks to tolerable levels.

One of his main conclusions is that an integrated modelling approach yields new and useful insights which cannot be gained through separate expert models. These include insights into the various feedback mechanisms and the effects on the environment and humans. Model simulation shows that, in continuing the present wait and see climate policies, the rate and level of rises in global temperature and sea level far exceed current internationally adopted values, and incur high to maximum climate risks.

Simulation calculations also show that, even if all countries fully implement the Copenhagen Amendments, maximum ozone risks will continue for the coming 30 to 40 years. The associated levels of UV-B radiation will increase risk levels of skin cancer, exceeding health targets until the end of the next century.

Essential reading for specialists in the field of global environmental change.



'"An accessible account of a useful tool for analysing how environmental perturbations may change under different policy assumptions."

  • The Geographical Journal'


Michel den Elzen is a researcher with the Dutch National Institute of Public Health Environmental Protection (RIVM).

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