Your location: Home

Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

COSMIC2 (COuntry Specific Model for Intertemporal Climate Vers. 2)

The COSMIC2 model provides climate-change impact modellers and policy analysts a flexible system that can produce a full range of dynamic country-specific climate-change scenarios. The need for this type of modeling capability was discussed at the IPCC Asia-Pacific Workshop on Integrated Assessment Models held in Tokyo in 1997. That Workshop aimed at improving communication between experts in a variety of disciplines and policy analysts/policy makers. One goal was to expand the use of integrated-assessment modelling for addressing the potential impacts of climate change in a way that better reflected the experiences of researchers from developing countries.

These researchers (and others at universities around the world) may not have access to state-of-the-art transient general circulation model (GCM) simulations. The expense of running these supercomputer models limits their availability and ease of use. The COSMIC2 model helps remove this limitation. COSMIC2 can provide easy access to credible climate-change scenarios that are consistent with the state-of-the-art, fully coupled, transient ocean-atmosphere GCM simulations.

Appropriate Use Can be used for estimating country level climate change. The climate change scenarios can be used in impact, vulnerability, and adaptation assessments.
Scope Provides country level (158 countries) climate change and sea level rise estimates from 2000 up to 2200 for 28 emission scenarios. These include the initial IPCC stabilization scenarios, SRES, and post-SRES CO2 stabilization scenarios.
Key Output Monthly mean temperature and precipitation along with annual global mean temperature change, sea level rise, and equivalent CO2 concentration.
Key Input The user chooses one of 14 GCM’s, the country, one of 28 emission scenarios and various climate model parameters (climate sensitivity, sulphate scenario, and sulphate forcing) along with the terminal year.
Ease of Use The installation and use assume average competence with personal computers. There is a built-in help facility.
Training Required Requires some familiarity with climate change literature. IPCC publications would provide all necessary background information.
Training Available Training courses for an earlier version (COSMIC) were held in various countries under the US Department of Energy Country Studies Program. There are currently no plans for additional courses.
Computer Requirements Personal computer with Windows XP/2000/9X operating system.
Documentation Numerous publications in the scientific literature.

COSMIC is in use by 130 research groups in 50 countries.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Michael E. Schlesinger, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; e-mail:

Larry J. Williams, Global Climate Change Research, Electric Power Research Institute; e-mail:

Cost The software is free. Send request to Larry J. Williams

Schlesinger, M.E. and S. Malyshev, ‘Changes in near-surface temperatures and sea level for the Post-SRES CO2-stabiliztion scenarios’, Integrated assessment, 2: 95-110.

Schlesinger, M.E., S. Malyshev, E.V. Rozanov, F. Yang, N.G. Andronova, B. de Vries, A. Grübler, K. Jiang, T. Masui, T. Morita, J. Penner, W. Pepper, A. Sankovski and Y. Zhang, ‘2000: Geographical distributions of temperature change for scenarios of greenhouse gas and sulfur dioxide emissions.’, Tech. Forecast. Soc. Change, 65, 167-193.

Williams, Larry J., Shaw, Daigee, Mendelsohn, Robert: 1998,'Evaluating GCM Output with Impact Models', Climatic Change, 39: 111-133.

Yohe, Gary and Schlesinger, Michael E.: 1998,'Sea-Level Change: The Expected Economic Cost of Protection or Abandonment in the United States', Climatic Change, 38: 337-472.