Monday, December 5, 2016

While climate change will impart an economic cost, it is manageable and small in comparison to the price of actively trying to mitigate it

See You Ought to Have a Look: Climate Fretting and Why It’s Unjustified by Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger of Cato. Excerpt:
"While “climate fretting” has become a pastime for some—even more so now with President-elect Trump’s plans to disassemble much of President Obama’s “I’ve Got a Pen and I’ve Got a Phone”-based Climate Action Plan—climate reality tells a much different story.

For example, a new analysis by Manhattan Institute’s (and YOTHAL favorite) Oren Cass looks into the comparative costs of climate change vs. climate action. His report, “Climate Costs in Context” is concise and to-the-point, and finds that while climate change will impart an economic cost, it is manageable and small in comparison to the price of actively trying to mitigate it. Here’s Oren’s abstract:
There is a consensus among climate scientists that human activity is contributing to climate change. However, claims that rising temperatures pose an existential threat to the human race or modern civilization are not well supported by climate science or economics; to the contrary, they are every bit as far from the mainstream as claims that climate change is not occurring or that it will be beneficial. Analyses consistently show that the costs of climate change are real but manageable. For instance, the prosperity that the world might achieve in 2100 without climate change may instead be delayed until 2102. [emphasis added]
In other words, the economic impacts of climate change aren’t something worth fretting over.
Next up is a contribution (at Judith Curry’s blog, Climate Etc.) from Nic Lewis showing more evidence that the temperature response in most climate models is too sensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Nic reviews a new paper that suggests the paltry increase in global average temperature in recent decades may continue for another decade or more from forces of natural variability alone, and then adds his own analysis showing that an alternative view supported by the paper is that the transitive climate sensitivity (TCS; how much the global average surface temperature rises at the time of a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration) is rather low. Instead of the climate model average TCS of around 1.8°C, Nic finds observational support for a TCS of about 1.35°C. From this information, he concludes:
Based on these estimates, the average TCR [transient climate response] of [current climate] models likely exceeds that in the real world by about 30%…the future warming projected by [these] models is on average 65% or more above that projected by simple but physically-consistent models with a TCR of ~1.35 K.
Rather than fret about high-end climate change scenarios, folks ought embrace lukewarming as the way of the future."

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