Scenario setup and forcing data for impact model evaluation and impact attribution within the third round of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP3a)

Katja Frieler, Jan Volkholz, Stefan Lange, Jacob Schewe, Matthias Mengel, María Del Rocío Rivas López, Christian Otto, Christopher P.O. Reyer, Dirk Nikolaus Karger, Johanna T. Malle, Simon Treu, Christoph Menz, Julia L. Blanchard, Cheryl S. Harrison, Colleen M. Petrik, Tyler D. Eddy, Kelly Ortega-Cisneros, Camilla Novaglio, Yannick Rousseau, Reg A. WatsonCharles Stock, Xiao Liu, Ryan Heneghan, Derek Tittensor, Olivier Maury, Matthias Büchner, Thomas Vogt, Tingting Wang, Fubao Sun, Inga J. Sauer, Johannes Koch, Inne Vanderkelen, Jonas Jägermeyr, Christoph Müller, Sam Rabin, Jochen Klar, Iliusi D. Vega Del Valle, Gitta Lasslop, Sarah Chadburn, Eleanor Burke, Angela Gallego-Sala, Noah Smith, Jinfeng Chang, Stijn Hantson, Chantelle Burton, Anne Gädeke, Fang Li, Simon N. Gosling, Hannes Müller Schmied, Fred Hattermann, Jida Wang, Fangfang Yao, Thomas Hickler, Rafael Marcé, Don Pierson, Wim Thiery, Daniel Mercado-Bettín, Robert Ladwig, Ana Isabel Ayala-Zamora, Matthew Forrest, Michel Bechtold

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This paper describes the rationale and the protocol of the first component of the third simulation round of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP3a,, last access: 2 November 2023) and the associated set of climate-related and direct human forcing data (CRF and DHF, respectively). The observation-based climate-related forcings for the first time include high-resolution observational climate forcings derived by orographic downscaling, monthly to hourly coastal water levels, and wind fields associated with historical tropical cyclones. The DHFs include land use patterns, population densities, information about water and agricultural management, and fishing intensities. The ISIMIP3a impact model simulations driven by these observation-based climate-related and direct human forcings are designed to test to what degree the impact models can explain observed changes in natural and human systems. In a second set of ISIMIP3a experiments the participating impact models are forced by the same DHFs but a counterfactual set of atmospheric forcings and coastal water levels where observed trends have been removed. These experiments are designed to allow for the attribution of observed changes in natural, human, and managed systems to climate change, rising CH4 and CO2 concentrations, and sea level rise according to the definition of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC AR6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-51
Number of pages51
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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