Social cost of CO2 emissions underestimated


Research published in Environmental Research Letters – IOP Science:

The social cost of carbon dioxide under climate-economy feedbacks and temperature variability

A key statistic describing climate change impacts is the ‘social cost of carbon dioxide’ (SCCO2), the projected cost to society of releasing an additional tonne of CO2.

“Our results show that determining the level of persistence of economic damages is one of the most important factors in calculating the SCCO2, and our empirical estimate illustrates the urgency of increasing adaptive capacity, while suggesting that the mean estimate for the SCCO2may have been strongly underestimated.”

Further Findings:

Results of the study further indicate that considering annual temperature anomalies leads to large increases in uncertainty about the risks of climate change. Results have also decidedly underestimated damages in the Global South.

The implemented climate feedbacks and annual mean temperature variability do not have large effects on the mean SCCO2.

The inclusion of permafrost thawing and surface albedo feedbacks is shown to lead to a relatively small increase in the SCCO2 for SSP2-4.5, with modest distributional effects.

Consideration of temperature anomalies shows that internal variability in the climate system can lead to increases in SCCO2 estimates, and is key to understanding uncertainties in the climate-economy system, stressing the need for a better representation of variability and extremes in CB-IAMs.

To access the study refer to the link above or IOPScience.


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