Is Climate Change Time Reversible?
24 Pages Posted: 18 May 2022 Last revised: 1 Dec 2022
Date Written: May 17, 2022
This paper proposes strategies to detect time reversibility in stationary stochastic processes by using the properties of mixed causal and noncausal models. It shows that they can also be used for non-stationary processes when the trend component is computed with the Hodrick-Prescott filter rendering a timereversible closed-form solution. This paper also links the concept of an environmental tipping point to the statistical property of time irreversibility and assesses fourteen climate indicators. We find evidence of time irreversibility in GHG emissions, global temperature, global sea levels, sea ice area, and some natural oscillation indices. While not conclusive, our findings urge the implementation of correction policies to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and not miss the opportunity window, which might still be available, despite closing quickly.
Keywords: mixed causal and noncausal models, time reversibility, Hodrick-Prescott filter, climate change, global warming, environmental tipping points
JEL Classification: C22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation