Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 47–73

Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates

  • Richard S.J. Tol


A selection of the potential impacts of climate change – on agriculture,forestry, unmanaged ecosystems, sea level rise, human mortality, energyconsumption, and water resources – are estimated and valued in monetaryterms. Estimates are derived from globally comprehensive, internallyconsistent studies using GCM based scenarios. An underestimate of theuncertainty is given. New impact studies can be included following themeta-analytical methods described here. A 1 °C increase in the globalmean surface air temperature would have, on balance, a positive effect onthe OECD, China, and the Middle East, and a negative effect on othercountries. Confidence intervals of regionally aggregated impacts, however,include both positive and negative impacts for all regions. Global estimatesdepend on the aggregation rule. Using a simple sum, world impact of a1 °C warming would be a positive 2% of GDP, with a standarddeviation of 1%. Using globally averaged values, world impact would be anegative 3% (standard deviation: 1%). Using equity weighting, worldimpact would amount to 0% (standard deviation: 1%).

adaptation climate change impacts 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard S.J. Tol
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Marine and Climate ResearchHamburg University, Germany; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije UnivresiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global ChangeCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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