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The near-term risk of climate uncertainty among the U.S. states

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  • George Backus

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  • Thomas Lowry
  • Drake Warren
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    Abstract

    This article describes a study employing a risk-assessment methodology for evaluating uncertain future climatic conditions. To understand the implications of uncertainty on risk and to provide a near-term rationale for policy interventions, the study estimated the impacts from responses to climate change on U.S. state- and national-level economic activity. The study used results of the climate-model CMIP3 dataset developed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report to 1) estimate a proxy for representing climate uncertainty over the next 40 years, 2) map the simulated weather from the climate models hydrologically to the county level to determine the physical consequences on economic activity at the state level, and 3) perform a detailed, economy-wide, 70-industry analysis of economic impacts among the interdependent lower-48 states for the years 2010 through 2050. The analysis determined the interacting industry-level effects, employment impacts at the state level, interstate population migration, consequences to personal income, and ramifications for the U.S. trade balance. When compared to a baseline economic forecast, the calculations produced an average risk of damage of $1 trillion to the U.S. economy from climate change over the next 40 years, with losses in employment equivalent to nearly 7 million full-time jobs. Added uncertainty would increase the estimated risk. Copyright U.S. Government 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10584-012-0511-8
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Climatic Change.

    Volume (Year): 116 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (February)
    Pages: 495-522

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:116:y:2013:i:3:p:495-522

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10584

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    1. Greenwood, Michael J, et al, 1991. "Migration, Regional Equilibrium, and the Estimation of Compensating Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1382-90, December.
    2. George I. Treyz & Dan S. Rickman & Gang Shao, 1991. "The REMI Economic-Demographic Forecasting and Simulation Model," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 14(3), pages 221-253, December.
    3. Wei Fan & Frederick Treyz & George Treyz, 2000. "An Evolutionary New Economic Geography Model," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 671-695.
    4. Young, Andrew T., 2010. "One of the things we know that ain't so: Is US labor's share relatively stable?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 90-102, March.
    5. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    6. Bruce A. McCarl & Xavier Villavicencio & Ximing Wu, 2008. "Climate Change and Future Analysis: Is Stationarity Dying?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1241-1247.
    7. Treyz, George I, et al, 1993. "The Dynamics of U.S. Internal Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 209-14, May.
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