Integrated regional models (IRM) are conceptual and mathematical models that may include, depending upon the application, components that describe the physical environment, biological interactions and human decision-making and its consequences.Disciplinary, regional or partly coupled models now exist in the atmospheric, ecological and social sciences. Work is in progress to couple these disciplinary models in response to a variety of contemporary environmental problems. Progress on coupling has been limited by lack of interaction among disciplines, lack of an accepted interdisciplinary framework, differences in technical approaches, and the absence of appropriate supporting data sets. In many cases, coupling is also inhibited by inadequacies of the disciplinary science, in that, in many cases, disciplinary studies have not addressed the processes that couple the system of focus to other system components. In many models, the coupling variables are not simulated as well as the internal dynamics within the component (Parton et al., in press). The severity and complexity of regional environmental problems, and the significant contribution of regional problems to global environmental issues dictates that progress in interdisciplinary and collaborative modeling be accelerated.


Global Biogeochemical Cycle Coupling Variable Fractional Vegetation Cover East Asian Monsoon Region Global Environmental Issue 
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© Chapman & Hall 1994

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  • David Schimel

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