AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Econ
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
CitationEconomics of tipping the climate dominoes 2016, 6 (5):514 Nature Climate Change
JournalNature Climate Change
Rights© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractGreenhouse gas emissions can trigger irreversible regime shifts in the climate system, known as tipping points. Multiple tipping points affect each other's probability of occurrence, potentially causing a 'domino effect'. We analyse climate policy in the presence of a potential domino effect. We incorporate three different tipping points occurring at unknown thresholds into an integrated climate-economy model. The optimal emission policy considers all possible thresholds and the resulting interactions between tipping points, economic activity, and policy responses into the indefinite future. We quantify the cost of delaying optimal emission controls in the presence of uncertain tipping points and also the benefit of detecting when individual tipping points have been triggered. We show that the presence of these tipping points nearly doubles today's optimal carbon tax and reduces peak warming along the optimal path by approximately 1 degrees C. The presence of these tipping points increases the cost of delaying optimal policy until mid-century by nearly 150%.
NotePublished online 18 January 2016. 6 month embargo.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsC.P.T. gratefully acknowledges support by the National Science Foundation through the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management GEO-1240507.