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Global Biosphere Management Model

AgricultureEnvironmentagricultureland useforestrybioenergy


AgricultureEnvironmentagricultureland useforestrybioenergy

main purpose

GLOBIOM is a global economic land use model covering the sectors of agriculture, forestry and bioenergy. The model has spatially explicit supply side representation covering different management systems and land use activities. It simulates economic market equilibrium for the analysis of economic as well as environmental consequences of future land use drivers and polices.  


GLOBIOM is a global model capturing the multiple relationships between the different systems involved in provision of agricultural, forestry and bioenergy products, for example, population dynamics, ecosystems, technology, and climate.

GLOBIOM integrates the agricultural, bioenergy, and forestry sectors and draws on comprehensive socioeconomic and geospatial data. It accounts for the 18 most globally important crops, a range of livestock production activities, forestry commodities, first- and second-generation bioenergy, and water. The supply side of the model is represented at the spatially explicit level of simulation units and takes into account biophysical land and soil, management, and weather characteristics. Land and other resources are allocated to the different production and processing activities to maximize a social welfare function which consists of the sum of producer and consumer surplus subject to resource, technological and policy constraints. Using the year 2000 as the baseline, GLOBIOM simulates demand and supply quantities, bilateral trade flows, and prices for commodities and natural resources at 10-year-step intervals up to 2100. The model allows for a full account of all agriculture and forestry GHG sources based on advanced IPCC methods.

GLOBIOM can be used for policy anticipation and formulation. The GLOBIOM approach is strongly grounded in the idea that the production of food, forest fibre, and bioenergy, must be analysed and planned in an integrated way across agriculture, forestry, and bioenergy sectors. GLOBIOM can be used to explore the various trade-offs and synergies around land use and ecosystem services, and helps policy makers understand and minimize land use and resource competition through more holistic thinking.

model type


Third-party ownership (commercial companies, Member States, other organisations, …)
GLOBIOM was developed and is maintained and updated at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).


Licence type:
Non-Free Software licence


details on model structure and approach

GLOBIOM is a global, recursive dynamic, linear programming, partial equilibrium model covering the sectors of agriculture, forestry and bioenergy including economic as well as bio-physical aspects. The market equilibrium is solved by maximizing the sum of producer and consumer surplus subject to resource, technological, and political constraints. The modelling approach represents bilateral trade based on cost competitiveness.

model inputs

Economic data is based on the market balances of Eurostat and FAOSTAT. Land cover maps rely on CORINE/PELCOM and GLC 2000. The source of bio-physical crop parameters is the crop model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate Model (EPIC). The price demand elasticities of the USDA are used to model changes in demand. Nearly all greenhouse gas emissions from land using sectors and land use change are included and based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) accounting guidelines. Other data were compiled from various sources (Ecofys, IIASA and E4tech, 2013).

model outputs

GLOBIOM provides output for land use change in hectares, carbon emission in tonnes CO2, water use through irrigation in km3 and commodity prices in US$. Furthermore supply and demand is projected in tonnes. 

model spatial-temporal resolution and extent

Spatial Extent/Country Coverage
ALL countries of the WORLD
Spatial Resolution
Regular Grid >50km
GLOBIOM has a spatial resolution of 0.5° x 0.5° grid which can be aggregated to countries or regions. It distinguishes a flexible amount of 30 world regions (default is 30) currently represented in the global version. Regional versions of the model, have been designed with national and regional institutes. These versions provide more detailed spatial representation of land use changes to assess the impact of specific regional policies.
Temporal Extent
Long-term (more than 15 years)
Projections over time up to 2100 are possible
Temporal Resolution
Multiple years
10 years