Assessment of synergies and tradeoffs - integrating data, models and scenarios across scales

Wageningen Research applies many models to address synergies and trade-offs in the transformation towards a circular and climate neutral society. Shared operation in multi-model assessments is not trivial and methodological issues are addressed in this project, with a broad application within the domain of Wageningen Research.

Performing multi-model assessments of synergies and trade-offs for a system generally takes the form of a question-to-answer pathway. Formulating the question often results in the formulation of scenarios.

These (1) scenarios outline the components that are assumed most influential to the functioning of the system, the different states they can have and how they are impacted by e.g. policy measures. Many of these components show complicated or complex behaviour and we can make use of models to explore how this behaviour changes in time due to specific scenario assumptions. Different models exist for different (combinations of) components at different scales.

When quantifying a scenario we need to (2) align these models; identify where and how the overlap between models can be addressed, or how gaps between models can be bridged in order to get coherent model output.

Subsequently, we need to (3) develop models that are not yet available, but important to quantify the scenario.

To support the (4) exchange of data between models, we need to develop infrastructure and align this infrastructure to the models.

We then perform a (5) multi-model assessment to align the output of the models used to quantify the scenario with each other and the wider scenario.

Finally the output for these models should be transformed into a coherent set of (6) indicators that do not only address the specific question asked, but provide a 360° view on the way the system is impacted by the scenario. By addressing issues from different research lines along these six steps we strengthen the modelling work within Wageningen Research.