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CR 11:65-74 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/cr011065

Integrated regional assessment and climate change impacts in river basins

Brent Yarnal*

Department of Geography and Center for Integrated Regional Assessment, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

ABSTRACT: Integrated regional assessment of climate change is an interdisciplinary, iterative process that involves scientific, policy, and societal stakeholders. The goal of integrated regional assessment is to promote a better understanding of, and more informed decisions on, how locales and regions contribute to and are affected by climate change. The purpose of the paper is to explain what integrated regional assessment is and how it is being used by practitioners. It aims to promote this approach by offering a more comprehensive account of integrated regional assessment than has been presented before. The article uses the integrated assessment of climate change impacts in river basins to provide a concrete regional basis for discussion. Case studies of 3 integrated assessments of river basins are presented to demonstrate the value of this approach. It is argued that when integrated regional assessment works, it provides an ideal way of bringing together science, society, and policy to face the challenges of climate change.

KEY WORDS: Integrated regional assessment · Integrated assessment · Climate change impacts · River basins · Hydrology · Water resources

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