Integrated Assessment

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 37-48

First online:

Comparing impacts across climate models

  • Robert MendelsohnAffiliated withYale University
  • , Michael SchlesingerAffiliated withUniversity of Illinois
  • , Larry WilliamsAffiliated withElectric Power Research Institute

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In this paper we combine a climate-forecasting model, COSMIC, with a global impact model, GIM, to compare the market impacts of climate change projected by 14 general circulation models. Given a specific date (2100), carbon dioxide concentration (612 ppmv), and global temperature sensitivity (2.5°C), predicted impacts to economies are calculated using climate-response functions from Experimental and Cross-sectional evidence. The Cross-sectional impact model predicts small global benefits across all climate models, whereas the Experimental impact model predicts a range from small benefits to small damages. High-latitude countries are less sensitive to temperature increases than low-latitude countries because they are currently cool. Uniform global temperature changes overestimate global damages because they underestimate the benefits in polar regions and overestimate the damages in tropical regions compared to the GCM predictions.