Climate Economics

Intergenerational Differences in Carbon Emissions

Changing people’s carbon emission patterns requires first understanding the differences in behaviors and corresponding emissions levels between different groups of people. A recent paper by Chancel in the journal Ecological Economics investigated the differences in carbon emissions between different generations in the U.S. and France. The author examined carbon emissions by American and French

Down-scaling Climate Models Without Up-scaling Costs

A recent study published in Global and Planetary Change demonstrates cost-saving opportunities in the otherwise computationally expensive process of high-resolution climate modeling.  General Circulation Models (GCMs, occasionally also referred to as ‘global climate models’) are extremely useful tools used to understand how our climate system works.  The models use mathematical equations to describe the physics of the oceans and atmosphere.  These equations quantify, for example, how hot air tends to rise (the reason hot air balloons fly) and how the wind flows from high-pressure areas to l

Benefits Outweigh Costs of Massive Renewable Energy Deployment

The power grid is a massively complicated network of generators, power converters, and transmission lines controlled through the cooperation of numerous private corporations and local and international agencies. Grid operators rely on long and short-term “to-the-minute” weather predictions and other inputs to predict demand and prevent disruption. Government policies and economic constraints of the coming decades require the grid in the United States (and elsewhere) to become even more intelligent, interconnected, and efficient.

The Role of Climate Sensitivity in Integrated Assessment Models. John Reilly

John Reilly is an energy, environmental and agricultural economist, and Co-Director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The Joint Program describes its mission as the study of “interactions between human and Earth systems to provide a sound foundation of scientific knowledge that will aid decision-makers in confronting the coupled challenges of future food, energy, water, climate and air pollution, among others.” 

Global Food Security

Research published in Science highlights the potentially deleterious effects of climate change on global food security. As defined by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, food security has a number of components.  These include food availability, access and utilization…

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