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A new scenario framework for Climate Change Research: scenario matrix architecture


  • Detlef Vuuren
  • Elmar Kriegler
  • Brian O’Neill
  • Kristie Ebi
  • Keywan Riahi
  • Timothy Carter
  • Jae Edmonds
  • Stephane Hallegatte
  • Tom Kram
  • Ritu Mathur
  • Harald Winkler


This paper describes the scenario matrix architecture that underlies a framework for developing new scenarios for climate change research. The matrix architecture facilitates addressing key questions related to current climate research and policy-making: identifying the effectiveness of different adaptation and mitigation strategies (in terms of their costs, risks and other consequences) and the possible trade-offs and synergies. The two main axes of the matrix are: 1) the level of radiative forcing of the climate system (as characterised by the representative concentration pathways) and 2) a set of alternative plausible trajectories of future global development (described as shared socio-economic pathways). The matrix can be used to guide scenario development at different scales. It can also be used as a heuristic tool for classifying new and existing scenarios for assessment. Key elements of the architecture, in particular the shared socio-economic pathways and shared policy assumptions (devices for incorporating explicit mitigation and adaptation policies), are elaborated in other papers in this special issue. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Detlef Vuuren & Elmar Kriegler & Brian O’Neill & Kristie Ebi & Keywan Riahi & Timothy Carter & Jae Edmonds & Stephane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Ritu Mathur & Harald Winkler, 2014. "A new scenario framework for Climate Change Research: scenario matrix architecture," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 373-386, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:122:y:2014:i:3:p:373-386
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0906-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brian O’Neill & Elmar Kriegler & Keywan Riahi & Kristie Ebi & Stephane Hallegatte & Timothy Carter & Ritu Mathur & Detlef Vuuren, 2014. "A new scenario framework for climate change research: the concept of shared socioeconomic pathways," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 387-400, February.
    2. Elmar Kriegler & Brian-C O'Neill & Stéphane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Richard-H Moss & Robert Lempert & Thomas J Wilbanks, 2010. "Socio-economic Scenario Development for Climate Change Analysis," CIRED Working Papers hal-00866437, HAL.
    3. Richard H. Moss & Jae A. Edmonds & Kathy A. Hibbard & Martin R. Manning & Steven K. Rose & Detlef P. van Vuuren & Timothy R. Carter & Seita Emori & Mikiko Kainuma & Tom Kram & Gerald A. Meehl & John F, 2010. "The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment," Nature, Nature, vol. 463(7282), pages 747-756, February.
    4. Kristie Ebi & Stephane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Nigel Arnell & Timothy Carter & Jae Edmonds & Elmar Kriegler & Ritu Mathur & Brian O’Neill & Keywan Riahi & Harald Winkler & Detlef Vuuren & Timm Zwickel, 2014. "A new scenario framework for climate change research: background, process, and future directions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 363-372, February.
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