Abstract. The integrated Earth system model (iESM) has been developed as a new tool for projecting the joint human/climate system. The iESM is based upon coupling an integrated assessment model (IAM) and an Earth system model (ESM) into a common modeling infrastructure. IAMs are the primary tool for describing the human–Earth system, including the sources of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) and short-lived species (SLS), land use and land cover change (LULCC), and other resource-related drivers of anthropogenic climate change. ESMs are the primary scientific tools for examining the physical, chemical, and biogeochemical impacts of human-induced changes to the climate system. The iESM project integrates the economic and human-dimension modeling of an IAM and a fully coupled ESM within a single simulation system while maintaining the separability of each model if needed. Both IAM and ESM codes are developed and used by large communities and have been extensively applied in recent national and international climate assessments. By introducing heretofore-omitted feedbacks between natural and societal drivers, we can improve scientific understanding of the human–Earth system dynamics. Potential applications include studies of the interactions and feedbacks leading to the timing, scale, and geographic distribution of emissions trajectories and other human influences, corresponding climate effects, and the subsequent impacts of a changing climate on human and natural systems. This paper describes the formulation, requirements, implementation, testing, and resulting functionality of the first version of the iESM released to the global climate community.