Search this site
by Faculty Name
by Publication Type
by Academic Area
HKS Faculty Research
FRC User's Guide
Submit New & Edit Current Publication Citations
Browse Publication Type
Publication Type Results
Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy
HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Wagner, Gernot, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Confronting Deep and Persistent Climate Uncertainty." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP16-025, August 2016.
Deep-seated, persistent uncertainty is a pernicious feature of climate change. One key parameter, equilibrium climate sensitivity, has eluded almost all attempts to pin down more precisely than a ‘likely’ range that has stalled at 1.5–4.5°C for over thirty-five years. The marginal damages due to temperature increase rise rapidly. Thus, uncertainty in climate sensitivity significantly raises the expected costs of climate change above what they would be if the temperature increase was known to be close to a mean value of 3.0°C. The cost of this uncertainty is compounded given that the distribution of possible temperature changes is strongly skewed toward higher values.
Copyright © 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College