Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 315-333

First online:

Comparing Forecasts of the Global Impacts of Climate Change

  • Robert MendelsohnAffiliated withYale University
  • , Larry WilliamsAffiliated withElectric Power Research Institute

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This paper utilizes the predictions ofseveral Atmosphere-Ocean GeneralCirculation Models and the Global ImpactModel to create forecasts of the globalmarket impacts from climate change. Theforecasts of market impacts in 2100 varyconsiderably depending on climate scenariosand climate impact sensitivity. The modelsdo concur that tropical nations will behurt, temperate nations will be barelyaffected, and high latitude nations willbenefit. Although the size of theseeffects varies a great deal across models,the beneficial and harmful effects areoffsetting, so that the net impact on theglobe is relatively small in almost alloutcomes. Looking only at market impacts,the forecasts suggest that while the globalnet benefits of abatement are small, thedistribution of damages suggests a largeequity problem that could be addressedthrough a compensation program. The largeuncertainty surrounding these forecastsfurther suggests that continued monitoringof both the climate and impacts isworthwhile.

climate change damage assessment economic impacts greenhouse gases pollution valuation