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Senior Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Matthias Jonas is a Senior Research Scholar in the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program, where he contributes to addressing challenges of systems analytical nature which are of high practical relevance to IIASA's applied research programs. Before joining the ASA Program, Dr. Jonas was with IIASA's Ecosystems Services & Management (ESM) Program, where he was responsible for constraining and handling uncertainties of GHG fluxes focusing on the bottom-up/top-down accounting of GHG emissions from both technosphere and terrestrial biosphere across spatial scales from national to global, the systems and uncertainty analysis involved in carrying out this research, and the collaboration with scholars and experts both in loco and internationally. Over the years, this research widened to span various research tracks and disciplines encompassing earth/climate systems analysis, observation, monitoring and modeling, the global carbon cycle, and non-CO2 GHGs including ozone precursors, the allocation of emission burdens and targets in an emissions-constrained world, accounting of emissions under and compliance with international climate agreements, and the monitoring and advanced analysis of uncertainty and risk in the emissions for robust decision-making in the context of mitigation and adaptation, emission trading etc.

Dr. Jonas received his PhD in geophysics in 1988 and first joined IIASA's Environment Program in November 1989 from the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany. He assisted in setting up and conducting IIASA's Climate Change Study, which aimed at the integrated modeling of climate change impacts. Between 1992 and 1994, he led the Climate Change Study as Deputy Project Leader under the Forestry and Climate Change Project. The climate related work of the project involved the construction of a hierarchical set of climate models to examine the feedback between climate and biosphere with emphasis on regional forest ensembles. The climate pattern scaling techniques developed at that time by him and his colleagues were pioneering.

Since 1994, Dr. Jonas has been providing consultancy support to the Austrian Government and other institutions in their efforts to comply with Austria's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Dr. Jonas is the lead author of Austria's First and Second National Communication (Austria's National Climate Reports).

Between 1995 and 1997, Dr. Jonas was with the Austrian Research Centers at Seibersdorf, Austria's largest non-university research institution, where he was responsible for setting up the integrated Austrian Carbon Balance Project (Phase I). This work led Dr. Jonas back to IIASA's Forestry (FOR) Project in 1998, contributing to the Full Carbon Account for Russia study that realized the first full carbon accounting for a country. In addition he was responsible for the Austrian Carbon Database (ACDb) study, being the first country-scale full carbon accounting that pays equal attention to the assessment of uncertainties from the very beginning, and driving IIASA's research to address the detection of uncertain greenhouse emission signals under the Kyoto Protocol.

Dr. Jonas' scientific interests are interdisciplinary and focus on global change policy problems in which the analysis of physical as well as natural-socioeconomic systems, environmental targets, and verification and compliance issues play a central role (earth systems modeling, carbon cycle, and non-CO2 greenhouse gases). Dr. Jonas has authored and coauthored three books and numerous publications and acts as a scientific expert reviewer for various interdisciplinary scientific journals, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


  • –present
    Senior Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)