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Modeling Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Multi‐Model Comparison

67 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2015  

Kenneth Gillingham

Yale University

William D. Nordhaus

Yale University - Department of Economics; Cowles Foundation, Yale University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David Anthoff

University of California, Berkeley - Energy and Resources Group

Geoffrey J. Blanford

Electric Power Research Institute

Valentina Bosetti

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Bocconi University; CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change

Peter Christensen

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Haewon McJeon

University of Maryland - Joint Global Change Research Institute

John M. Reilly

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

Paul Sztorc

Yale University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 23, 2015

Abstract

The economics of climate change involves a vast array of uncertainties, complicating both the analysis and development of climate policy. This study presents the results of the first comprehensive study of uncertainty in climate change using multiple integrated assessment models. The study looks at model and parametric uncertainties for population, total factor productivity, and climate sensitivity. It estimates the pdfs of key output variables, including CO2 concentrations, temperature, damages, and the social cost of carbon (SCC). One key finding is that parametric uncertainty is more important than uncertainty in model structure. Our resulting pdfs also provide insights on tail events.

Keywords: Climate change, Modeling, Uncertainty, Statistics, Integrated assessment models

JEL Classification: Q4, Q5, C6, H4

Suggested Citation

Gillingham, Kenneth and Nordhaus, William D. and Anthoff, David and Blanford, Geoffrey J. and Bosetti, Valentina and Christensen, Peter and McJeon, Haewon and Reilly, John M. and Sztorc, Paul, Modeling Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Multi‐Model Comparison (September 23, 2015). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2022. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2664693

Kenneth Gillingham

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06511
United States
203-436-5465 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.yale.edu/gillingham

William D. Nordhaus (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States
203-432-3598 (Phone)
203-432-5779 (Fax)

Cowles Foundation, Yale University ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Anthoff

University of California, Berkeley - Energy and Resources Group ( email )

United States

Geoffrey J. Blanford

Electric Power Research Institute ( email )

3412 Hillview Avenue
P.O. Box 10412
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1395
United States

Valentina Bosetti

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change

Viale Gallipoli, 49
Lecce, 73100
Italy

Peter Christensen

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Haewon McJeon

University of Maryland - Joint Global Change Research Institute ( email )

5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500
College Park, MD 20740
United States

John M. Reilly

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change ( email )

E19-429
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
617-253-8040 (Phone)

Paul Sztorc

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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