Friday, June 30, 2017

Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States | Science

Estimates of climate change damage are central to the design of climate policies. Here, we develop a flexible architecture for computing damages that integrates climate science, econometric analyses, and process models. We use this approach to construct spatially explicit, probabilistic, and empirically derived estimates of economic damage in the United States from climate change. The combined value of market and nonmarket damage across analyzed sectors—agriculture, crime, coastal storms, energy, human mortality, and labor—increases quadratically in global mean temperature, costing roughly 1.2% of gross domestic product per +1°C on average. Importantly, risk is distributed unequally across locations, generating a large transfer of value northward and westward that increases economic inequality. By the late 21st century, the poorest third of counties are projected to experience damages between 2 and 20% of county income (90% chance) under business-as-usual emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5).
by Solomon Hsiang 1,2,*,†, Robert Kopp 3,*,†, Amir Jina 4,†, James Rising 1,5,†, Michael Delgado 6, Shashank Mohan 6, D. J. Rasmussen 7, Robert Muir-Wood 8, Paul Wilson 8, Michael Oppenheimer 7,9, Kate Larsen 6, and Trevor Houser 6
1. Global Policy Laboratory, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
2. National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, USA.
3. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
4. Department of Economics and Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
5. Energy Resource Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
6. Rhodium Group, New York, NY, USA.
7. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.
8 Risk Management Solutions, Newark, CA, USA.
9 Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.
* Corresponding author. Email: (S.H.); (R.K.)
Science 30 Jun 2017:
Volume 356, Issue 6345, pp. 1362-1369

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