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 emissions in the long run along an optimal 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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7476.
Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Klaus Keller & Kelvin Tan & Francois M.M. Morel & David F. Bradford, 1999. "Preserving the Ocean Circulation: Implications for Climate Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 199, CESifo Group Munich.
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Minh Ha-Duong & Michael Grubb & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 1997. "Influence of socioeconomic inertia and uncertainty on optimal CO2-emission abatement," Post-Print halshs-00002452, HAL.
- Manne, Alan S, 1995. "The rate of time preference : Implications for the greenhouse debate," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 391-394.
- Roughgarden, Tim & Schneider, Stephen H., 1999. "Climate change policy: quantifying uncertainties for damages and optimal carbon taxes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 415-429, July.
- David F. Bradford, 1997. "On the Uses of Benefit-Cost Reasoning in Choosing Policy Toward Global Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 5920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richels, Richard & Edmonds, Jae, 1995. "The economics of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 373-378.
- Maddison, David, 1995. "A cost-benefit analysis of slowing climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 337-346.
- Zeckhauser, Richard J. & Toman, Michael & Rostapshova, Olga & Kousky, Carolyn, 2009.
"Responding to Threats of Climate Change Mega-Catastrophes,"
- Kousky, Carolyn & Rostapshova, Olga & Toman, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "Responding to Threats of Climate Change Mega-Catastrophes," Working Paper Series rwp10-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Kousky, Carolyn & Rostapshova, Olga & Toman, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2009. "Responding to Threats of Climate Change Mega-Catastrophes," Discussion Papers dp-09-45, Resources For the Future.
- Kousky, Carolyn & Rostapshova, Olga V & Toman, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard Jay, 2010. "Responding to Threats of Climate Change Mega-Catastrophes," Scholarly Articles 4454155, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
- Kousky, Carolyn & Rostapshova, Olga & Toman, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2009. "Responding to threats of climate change mega-catastrophes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5127, The World Bank.
- Kingwell, Ross S., 2006. "Is Hanrahan sort of right? Will climate change ruin us all?," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 137961, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
- T. Bruckner & K. Zickfeld, 2009. "Emissions corridors for reducing the risk of a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 61-83, January.
- Geoffrey Heal & Bengt Kriström, 2002. "Uncertainty and Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 3-39, June.
- Bahn, Olivier & Edwards, Neil R. & Knutti, Reto & Stocker, Thomas F., 2011. "Energy policies avoiding a tipping point in the climate system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 334-348, January.
- P. Michael Link & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "Possible Economic Impacts of a Shutdown of the Thermohaline Circulation: an Application of FUND," Working Papers FNU-42, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
- Greiner, Alfred & Semmler, Willi, 2005. "Economic growth and global warming: A model of multiple equilibria and thresholds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 430-447, August.
- Ranjan, Ram & Shortle, James S. & Marshall, Elizabeth P., 2003. "The Relevance and Implications of the Environmental Kuznets Curve Under Stock Effects and Non-Linearities: A Hysteresis Based Approach," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22147, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- Hall, Darwin C. & Behl, Richard J., 2006. "Integrating economic analysis and the science of climate instability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 442-465, May.
- Ranjan, Ram & Shortle, James, 2007. "The environmental Kuznets curve when the environment exhibits hysteresis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 204-215, October.
- Kingwell, Ross S., 2006. "Climate change in Australia: agricultural impacts and adaptation," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 14.
- Lempert, Robert J. & Sanstad, Alan H. & Schlesinger, Michael E., 2006. "Multiple equilibria in a stochastic implementation of DICE with abrupt climate change," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 677-689, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.