Modeling Uncertainty in the Integrated Assessment of Climate Change: A Multi-Model Comparison

Modeling Uncertainty in the Integrated Assessment of Climate Change: A Multi-Model Comparison

Gillingham K., Nordhaus W., Anthoff D., Bosetti V., Blanford G., Christensen P., McJeon H., Reilly J., Sztorc P., (2018), Modeling Uncertainty in the Integrated Assessment of Climate Change: A Multi-Model Comparison, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Volume 5, Number 4, pp 791-826, DOI: 10.3386/w21637, webpage

Abstract

The economics of climate change involves a vast array of uncertainties, complicating our understanding of climate change. This study explores uncertainty in baseline trajectories using multiple integrated assessment models commonly used in climate policy development. The study examines model and parametric uncertainties for population, total factor productivity, and climate sensitivity. It estimates the probability distributions of key output variables, including CO2 concentrations, temperature, damages, and social cost of carbon (SCC). One key finding is that parametric uncertainty is more important than uncertainty in model structure. Our resulting distributions provide a useful input into climate policy discussions.

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