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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Integrated modeling of climate change impacts on agriculture and groundwater resources"

The GLOWA-Danube research cooperation has developed the integrated simulation system DANUBIA which simulates water related influences of Global Change (natural changes as well as social changes) spatially and temporally. DANUBIA is a modular system comprised of 17 dynamically coupled process-based model components and a sophisticated framework to control the interaction of the individual components with respect to space, time and information. As DANUBIA was developed over a period of almost 10 years by roughly 50 scientist from more than 12 natural and social science disciplines, the body of published literature on individual model components, specific method and framework technologies is already quite large. To avoid repetitions, the present article makes references to previously published material and focuses on yet unpublished methodological aspects of model integration (coupling) in at the interface between socio-economic sciences and policy making on the one hand and natural sciences on the other. Thereby, this article describes new approaches to and the capabilities of DANUBIA to simulate the influences of global change on agriculture and groundwater. In this field, direct impacts of climate chance on the water balance are equally important as the decisions made by farmers and their consequences on land use and intensity of farming. The DANUBIA system and its DeepActor framework, which is used to model decisions made by farming Actors, are presented together with the most relevant sub-components involved in the agriculture-groundwater field. The approach of developing consistent climate scenarios combined with socio-economic scenarios is explained. DANUBIA was developed and tested for the Upper Danube Catchment (UDC) in Germany (77,000 km^2). A small selection of exemplary simulation results is shown here. This article is mainly concerned with the methodological aspects of DANUBIA and does not dwell on the concrete results from the UDC. Concrete results are compiled in the GLOWA-Danube Global Change Atlas of the UDC ( A review of research efforts made in the field of integrated modeling of agriculture and groundwater under conditions of global change and a discussion of open questions are presented. Finally, we discuss issues of potential applications and transferability of DANUBIA to other regions. DANUBIA will be entirely available to the public under a open source license by the middle of 2011.