Climate Change Policy Under Polar Amplification

44 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2016

See all articles by William A. Brock

William A. Brock

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Department of Economics; University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics

Anastasios Xepapadeas

Athens University of Economics and Business; University of Bologna - School of Economics, Management, and Statistics

Date Written: March 10, 2016

Abstract

Polar amplification is an established scientific fact which has been associated with the surface albedo feedback and to heat and moisture transport from the Equator to the Poles. In this paper we unify a two-box climate model, which allows for heat and moisture transport from the southern region to the northern region, with an economic model of welfare optimization. Our main contribution is to show that by ignoring spatial heat and moisture transport and the resulting polar amplification, the regulator may overestimate or underestimate the tax on GHG emissions. The direction of bias depends on the relations between marginal damages from temperature increase in each region. We also determine the welfare cost when a regulator mistakenly ignores polar amplification. Finally we show the adjustments necessary to the market discount rate due to transport phenomena as well as how our two-box model can be extended to Ramsey-type optimal growth models. Numerical simulations confirm our theoretical results.

Keywords: Polar Amplification, Spatial Heat and Moisture Transport, Optimal Policy, Emission Taxes, Market Discount Rate

JEL Classification: Q54, Q58

Suggested Citation

Brock, William A. and Xepapadeas, Anastasios, Climate Change Policy Under Polar Amplification (March 10, 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 019.2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2745823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2745823

William A. Brock

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-6655 (Phone)
608-263-3876 (Fax)

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

Anastasios Xepapadeas (Contact Author)

Athens University of Economics and Business ( email )

76 Patission Street
Athens, 104 34
Greece

University of Bologna - School of Economics, Management, and Statistics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

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