Climate change is likely to affect human society and the natural environment in many ways. Source: 2014 National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program. At a glance / Definitions / Definitions - Earth-System Modeling / Earth-System Modeling / Earth-System Modeling - At a glance

Climate change will lead to a range of varied and important impacts. Climate change will affect ecosystems and human systems – such as agricultural, transportation, water resources, and health-related infrastructure.
To limit risks and maximize opportunities associated with the changes, it is helpful for people, society and economic sectors to understand how climate change could affect respective conditions and what can be done to adapt, as well as what can be done to reduce future climate change by reducing global emissions and maintaining greenhouse gas sinks (mitigation).

Scenarios of emissions and other climate drivers are given as inputs to ESMs to assess the impact of a range of human activities on the Earth system components. Impacts on ecosystems, natural resources, economic activities and infrastructures, and human well-being, depend not only on climate change, but also on other changes in the environment and the capacity of society and economy to adapt to impacts.