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Quantifying the economic risks of climate change

Understanding the value of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions matters for policy decisions and climate risk management, but quantification is challenging because of the complex interactions and uncertainties in the Earth and human systems, as well as normative ethical considerations.

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Abstract:

Understanding the value of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions matters for policy decisions and climate risk management, but quantification is challenging because of the complex interactions and uncertainties in the Earth and human systems, as well as normative ethical considerations. Current modelling approaches use damage functions to parameterize a simplified relationship between climate variables, such as temperature change, and economic losses. Here we review and synthesize the limitations of these damage functions and describe how incorporating impacts, adaptation and vulnerability research advances and empirical findings could substantially improve damage modelling and the robustness of social cost of carbon values produced. We discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with integrating these research advances into cost–benefit integrated assessment models, with guidance for future work.

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Citation:

Diaz, Delavane, & Moore, Frances. (2017). Quantifying the economic risks of climate change. Nature Climate Change7(11). doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE3411