We equip policy makers in using research for policy development

ToPDAd researcher Asbjørn Aaheim hopes that the work on integration between models in ToPDAd will sharpen messages to the decision makers on how they can use the results from the research.



                                        Photo: CICERO

Asbjørn Aaheim is responsible for ToPDAd deliverable 3.1, Responsibilities and linkages for integration. He is a research director at CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo. 

Asbjørn has been involved in several parts of the ToPDAd project. He had the main responsibility for an internal document outlining advantages and disadvantages of integrating models, which emphasizes the need to define a purpose of integration on the basis of the decisions that integrated analyses are meant to support. Social and economic research in general, and modeling in particular, is generally designed with the aim to support a predefined group of decision makers. To take full advantage of integrating models one therefore has to be specific about how information provided by one model can be improved by integration with another model for this group of decision makers. "In doing so, we may thereby broaden the basis of knowledge underlying decision making. Moreover, it raises awareness of how scientific/research information can be utilized for decision making”, Asbjørn says. He hopes that the work on integration will sharpen messages to decision makers on how they can use results from the research, in the sense that they become aware of what is to be regarded as knowledge, what are approximations, and what decision makers have to decide on the basis of their own judgment. 

Asbjørn is also responsible for developing the long-term global macroeconomic scenarios for the project. "Climate projections based on the representative concentrations pathways RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were made available recently. We are now developing corresponding macroeconomic scenarios, which will be combined with the so-called shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP),” Asbjørn says. "These refer to future social and economic developments, which raise challenges to adaptation and challenges to mitigation, respectively. The provision of climate projections combined with a consistent set of macroeconomic drivers, such as development main economic indicators by region, and world market prices, will constitute important background information to other project partners.” Asbjørn thinks that the most interesting aspect of ToPDAd is the need to be specific about what we gain by integrating very different models based on research from very different areas and perspectives. "Hopefully we will raise awareness of the fact that usefulness of research cannot be considered without specifications on who is going to use it.” 


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Logos of the participants of ToPDAd
Participants of ToPDAd: Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT, The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, CICERO Senter Klimaforskning Stiftelse, Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftlich Strukturforschung MBH, University of East Anglia, Transport & Mobility Lueven NV, Ilmatieteen Laitos, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft MBH
7th Framework Programme (FP7)