Title: The economic impact of extreme sea-level rise: Ice sheet vulnerability and the social cost of carbon dioxide
Authors: PYCROFT JONATHANVERGANO LuciaHOPE Chris
Citation: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS vol. 24 p. 99–107
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC82165
ISSN: 0959-3780
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095937801300157X
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC82165
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.08.017
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recent thinking about the economics of climate change has concerned the appropriate probability distributions of both climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and the damages that might occur at high temperatures. Tail-shape is critical, since has important implications for the calculation of the social cost of carbon dioxide. In this paper, the importance of low-probability, high-impact events in the social cost of carbon dioxide calculations is extended to incorporate the possibility of rapid sea-level rise. To estimate its impact, the PAGE09 integrated assessment model is used, which allows a probabilistic assessment of climate change damages based on the linkages between the economic and climate systems. In the model, the generic discontinuity damage is replaced with the possibility of large-scale damage from factors that are taken to be correlated with temperature rise and, crucially, explicit consideration of rapid increases in sea-level. Results indicate that explicit consideration of the possibility of ice sheet collapse significantly increases the estimate of the damages caused by greenhouse gases emissions. Although the likelihood of ice sheet collapse is uncertain, the possibility should be considered and estimates should be made of the consequences were it to occur.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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