Economic Value of Solar Reflectivity Interventions to Reduce Global Warming
5 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2023 Last revised: 24 Feb 2024
Date Written: February 21, 2024
The economic value to the whole planet of stopping global warming, not including local benefits or consideration of non-economic risks, is computed by dividing estimated total damages in 2025 from global warming by Earth’s present measured energy imbalance in megawatts to compute average damages per megawatt. This value is adjusted for interventions that provide additional global benefits such as reducing tropical storm damage or provide detriments such as by reducing crop yields. The value of an additional reflected megawatt is applied to examples of Earth surface solar reflectivity interventions in the form of Marine Cloud Brightening, reflective reservoir covers, creating salt ponds that are left bright white on shrinking salt lakes such as the Salton Sea, and restoring former salt evaporation ponds and leaving them bright white.
The calculations show that many such reflectivity interventions are cost-effective and should be undertaken. We should marshal global subsidies for low risk solar reflectivity interventions through markets where governments, philanthropists, and corporations can find and select the most cost-effective interventions with acceptable risk and help fund them. Each intervention can be technically verified by an independent third party measuring the increased number of megawatts reflected to space over time.
Keywords: Global Warming, Earth’s Energy Imbalance, Solar Radiation Modification, Carbon Credits, Reflection Cooling Credits
JEL Classification: Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation