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Dangerous Interference With The Climate System: An Economic Assessment

Author

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  • Richard S.J. Tol

    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex
    Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper combines uncertainty about the impact of climate change on human welfare with the distribution of impacts over space and time. The best guess of world average impacts shows a relatively small impact, but with an uncertainty is large and skewed towards negative surprises. Poorer countries are more vulnerable to climate change. There is a 1% chance of a total loss in some countries at warming above 3°C. Generally, economic growth would reduce vulnerability, but this may not be true for the tail of the distribution for warming above 3°C. Thus, 3°C global warming appears as a critical threshold above which climate change is dangerous.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard S.J. Tol, 2016. "Dangerous Interference With The Climate System: An Economic Assessment," Working Paper Series 10016, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:10016
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    File URL: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps-100-2016.pdf&site=24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Letta, Marco & Montalbano, Pierluigi & Tol, Richard S.J., 2018. "Temperature shocks, short-term growth and poverty thresholds: Evidence from rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 13-32.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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