The Economics of Climate Change

The Economics of Climate Change

The Economics of Climate Change

The Economics of Climate Change


This impressive new collection couldn't come at a better time. With global warming now becoming physically noticeable and the Kyoto treaty stalling in its efforts to get the developed world on board, a look at the economic factors of global warming is very much welcome.With contributions from distinguished authors and covering everything you need to know about global warming and its financial implications, this fascinating book will appeal across the political and scientific spectrum.


Scientific modelling and its relationship to the economic dimensions of policy

Ian Moffatt


Global warming is considered by many scientists to be the major environmental problem confronting life on Earth. Whilst it is well established that the Earth has a natural greenhouse effect concern is over the anthropogenic alteration to the composition and quantities of atmospheric greenhouse gases. The anthropogenic alteration of the climate is known as the enhanced greenhouse effect or, more commonly, global warming. In order to understand the processes underpinning global warming a massive scientific programme of research has been undertaken over the past three decades. Several major monographs on the scientific and social responses to global warming have already been produced and vitally important scientific research continues.

Simultaneous to this research, the last two decades have witnessed increasing political and economic discussions over the ways of reducing greenhouse gases or, at least, exploring ways of adapting to the predicted climatic changes. The Kyoto Protocol, for example, is part of this on-going political and economic debate. Clearly, global warming has the potential of impacting directly or indirectly on every sentient being on Earth. Hence, many political leaders, together with the rest of humanity, are concerned over the likely impacts that global warming will have on society and the environment as well as the costs and benefits of coping with this human made threat. The scientific and policy debates continue.

The purpose of this chapter is to focus on scientific modelling of global warming and discuss its relationship with the economic dimensions of policy. In this chapter our attention is focused mainly on climate change over the past 200 years (i.e. short-term change) and we examine some probable changes caused by human activities that will occur by 2050 or 2100.

In the following section a concise guide to the science of global warming is presented. We begin by describing the types of data used in constructing climatic data. Next, the different causes of climate change and the temporal and spatial . . .

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