Preserving the Ocean Circulation: Implications for Climate Policy
AbstractClimate modelers have recognized the possibility of abrupt climate changes caused by a reorganization of the North Atlantic's current pattern (technically known as a thermohaline circulation collapse). This circulation system now warms north-western Europe and transports carbon dioxide to the deep oceans. The posited collapse of this system could produce severe cooling in north-western Europe, even when general global warming is in progress. In this paper we use a simple integrated assessment model to investigate the optimal policy response to this risk. Adding the constraint of avoiding a thermohaline circulation collapse would significantly reduce the allowable greenhouse gas emissio ns in the long run along an otimal path. Our analysis implies that relatively small damages associated with a collapse (less than 1% of gross world product) would justify a considerable reduction of future carbon dioxide emissions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 199.
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Klaus Keller & Kelvin Tan & Francois M.M. Morel & David F. Bradford, 2000. "Preserving the Ocean Circulation: Implications for Climate Policy," NBER Working Papers 7476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
- Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
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