[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Economics of the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet
PNAS first published June 4, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1814990116
Edited by William C. Clark, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved April 5, 2019 (received for review August 30, 2018)
This study integrates an economic model of climate change with a small structural model of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS). As such, it provides a methodology for incorporating large earth system changes into standard economic cost–benefit or damage-limiting analyses. It finds that adding the GIS has only a small effect on the social cost of carbon (SCC) because melting is slow and damages are far in the future.
Concerns about the impact on large-scale earth systems have taken center stage in the scientific and economic analysis of climate change. The present study analyzes the economic impact of a potential disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS). The study introduces an approach that combines long-run economic growth models, climate models, and reduced-form GIS models. The study demonstrates that social cost–benefit analysis and damage-limiting strategies can be usefully extended to illuminate issues with major long-term consequences, as well as concerns such as potential tipping points, irreversibility, and hysteresis. A key finding is that, under a wide range of assumptions, the risk of GIS disintegration makes a small contribution to the optimal stringency of current policy or to the overall social cost of climate change. It finds that the cost of GIS disintegration adds less than 5% to the social cost of carbon (SCC) under alternative discount rates and estimates of the GIS dynamics.
climate change – Greenland ice sheet – economics – DICE model – optimization
Keywords: Climate change; Global warming; Greenland; Economics.