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Optimal Control of Global Warming

Gary Erickson

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

December 26, 2012

An optimal control model of global warming is presented and analyzed. The model has two state variables, representing the anthropogenic concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the temperature increase due to the greenhouse gas concentration. The state equation for greenhouse gas concentration includes absorption by the environment, but at a rate that is negatively related to temperature increase. Sufficient conditions are offered for a solution with two steady states to exist, and for at least one of the steady states to yield a positive absorption capacity rate. A numerical illustration is offered. Also, a special case of the model is analyzed, in which the environmental absorption capacity rate is assumed fixed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: global warming, optimal control

JEL Classification: C61, Q29

working papers series

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Date posted: December 26, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Erickson, Gary, Optimal Control of Global Warming (December 26, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2193945 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2193945

Contact Information

Gary M. Erickson (Contact Author)
University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )
Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States
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