In this project, we will create a free and open source software (FOSS) Python version of the simulation model IMAGE-land. This is a central part of the IMAGE integrated assessment model (IAM), used to make projections of future environmental change and effects of possible response strategies to support international policy processes.
Our end products are building blocks at three levels:
1. High-level – the FOSS Python version of IMAGE-land, a tutorial with example, a best-practices training for UU and PBL employees, and a new collaboration between three UU departments and PBL.
2. Mid-level – within the FOSS: generic land-use change classes in Python.
3. Low-level – generic spatial operations from PCRaster-LUE (developed with earlier Research IT funds), allowing for out-of-the-box cluster computing, to be used and extended.
Delta areas, as unique ecosystems, are among the most densely populated areas in the world. Deltas are under increasing human and natural pressure. Future global change, with intensifying human activity, increasing weather extremes, changing river flow regimes and accelerated sea-level rise, will put deltas and their societies at increasing risk.
We therefore need deltas that are resilient to natural hazards, make sustainable use of natural resources, have healthy environmental conditions, and are able to cope with future climate change and sea-level rise. It is now the moment for science and society to find sustainable pathways into such future. This requires addressing the wide variety of processes - physical, chemical, biological, institutional and socio-economic – that interact in deltas in an integrated approach.
In the hub Water, Climate and Future Deltas researchers from varying disciplines at Utrecht University cooperate with external partners to design and evaluate pathways to sustainable delta development. The hub will provide policy makers and delta managers with the essential scientific basis for informed decision-making on pathways towards sustainable deltas.