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Open Access Publications from the University of California

GCAM v5.1: representing the linkages between energy, water, land, climate, and economic systems

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This paper describes GCAM v5.1, an open source model that represents the linkages between energy, water, land, climate, and economic systems. GCAM is a market equilibrium model, is global in scope, and operates from 1990 to 2100 in 5-year time steps. It can be used to examine, for example, how changes in population, income, or technology cost might alter crop production, energy demand, or water withdrawals, or how changes in one region's demand for energy affect energy, water, and land in other regions. This paper describes the model, including its assumptions, inputs, and outputs. We then use 11 scenarios, varying the socioeconomic and climate policy assumptions, to illustrate the results from the model. The resulting scenarios demonstrate a wide range of potential future energy, water, and land uses. We compare the results from GCAM v5.1 to historical data and to future scenario simulations from earlier versions of GCAM and from other models. Finally, we provide information on how to obtain the model.

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