Working Groups

SDWG | Societal Dimensions Working Group

Our Mission

The Societal Dimensions Working Group (SDWG) enhances CESM and its application to improve understanding of the interactions between human and earth systems. This area of research and practice includes the use of CESM in studies of climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation. The key characteristic of interest within these areas is the role of CESM (and Earth system and climate models in general) in their analysis. A wide range of specific topics is of interest to the working group, including (but not limited to) interactions between the climate system and the use of energy, land, and water; emissions of air pollutants and their consequences; socio-ecological impacts of climate change; geoengineering; and ocean acidification. The working group also has interest in diagnosis of CESM performance from an applications perspective, with an eye toward model improvement.  Research groups participating in the SDWG come from the fields of integrated assessment modeling, climate impacts modeling, adaptation and vulnerability research, social sciences and climate modeling. Participants also include practitioners involved in resource management or policy analysis relevant to these areas of research.

The working group pursues its goals through four principle types of activities:

  • Fostering dialogue between the CESM community and other communities of researchers and practitioners involved in the interaction of society and climate change;
  • Identifying needs of users in the scientific and applications communities for new developments in CESM and communicating them to relevant CESM working groups;
  • Carrying out CESM simulations of particular relevance to scientific and applications communities;
  • Reviewing and approving new CESM code that provides linkages to human system models.


Participation and Meetings

Participation in the SDWG is open. SDWG meetings are held twice per year, in June in Breckenridge, Colorado (jointly with all other WGs) and in the winter at NCAR. Meetings typically include talks based on submitted abstracts describing work of relevance to the working group, as well as presentations or discussions related to the four types of working group activities described above. Announcements of upcoming meetings and all other SDWG news is communicated through the SDWG email list.

SDWG Documents

Summary of Session on the New Scenario Process and Implications for CMIP6

At the June 2013 SDWG meeting, a special session on planning for the Climate Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 was held. The results of discussions there were the basis for formal input provided to the CMIP6 planning process. August 6, 2013 [Summary]

White Paper on Societal Dimensions of Earth System Modeling

In 2011 a white paper was developed making the case for a working group on societal dimensions, leading to the formation of the SDWG.

Upcoming Events

SDWG Liaison Information

SDWG Co-Chair Information

Dr. Brian O'Neill
9/1/11 - 12/31/15
NCAR-CGD, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000
Lawrence Buja
9/1/11 - 12/31/15
NCAR-RAL, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000
Dr. Bill Gutowski
9/1/11 - 12/31/15
Iowa State University, 3021 Agronomy, Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Ames, IA 50011
Katherine Calvin
03/01/15 - 02/28/17
Joint Global Change Research Institute 5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500 College Park, MD 20740