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Cost-Risk Trade-Off of Mitigation and Solar Geoengineering: Considering Regional Disparities Under Probabilistic Climate Sensitivity

  • Elnaz Roshan
  • Mohammad M. Khabbazan
  • Hermann Held
Article

Abstract

Solar geoengineering (SGE) constitutes a viable option to ameliorate anthropogenic temperature rise. However, it does not simultaneously compensate for anthropogenic changes in further climate variables in a perfect manner. Here, we investigate to what extent a proponent of the 2 °C-temperature target would apply SGE in conjunction with mitigation in view of regional disparities in temperature and precipitation. We apply cost-risk analysis (CRA), which is a decision analytic framework that trades-off expected welfare-loss from climate policy costs and climate risks from transgressing a climate target. Here, in ‘Giorgi’-regional-scale analyses, we evaluate the optimal mix of SGE and mitigation under probabilistic information about climate sensitivity and generalize CRA in order to include regional temperature and precipitation risks. In addition to a mitigation-only analysis, social welfare is maximized for the following three joint-mitigation-SGE scenarios: temperature-risk-only, precipitation-risk-only, and equally weighted both-risks. We find that for regionally differentiated precipitation targets, the usage of SGE will be restricted. Our results indicate that SGE would save 70–75% of welfare-loss in the precipitation-risk-only and both-risks scenarios compared to a purely mitigation-based analysis with approximate overall welfare loss of 4% in terms of balanced growth equivalent from economic costs and climate risks.

Keywords

Climate targets Cost-risk analysis Decision under uncertainty Mitigation Solar geoengineering 

Abbreviations

AMZ

Amazonia

BAU

Business-as-usual

BGE

Balanced growth equivalent

CBA

Cost–benefit analysis

CEA

Cost effectiveness analysis

CNA

Central North-America

CRA

Cost-risk analysis

EPR

Expected regional precipitation risk

ETR

Expected regional temperature risk

GHG

Greenhouse gas

SAH

Sahara

SGE

Solar geoengineering

SQF

South Equatorial Africa

WNA

West North-America

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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