Meno di un minuto

In a new publication "Managing Catastrophic Climate Risks Under Model Uncertainty Aversion" in the leading academic journal Management Science, three FEEM researchers (Loic Berger, Johannes Emmerling and Massimo Tavoni) shed new light on the role of catastrophes for climate change.

Growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere might lead to catastrophic climatic events, a major reason of concern among climate and policy analysts. The uncertainties surrounding these dramatic consequences are and will remain profound, given the innate unpredictability of the earth climate. Climatologists predictions are thus profoundly uncertain, and often hard to reconcile. This complicates the work of policymakers, which have to negotiate courses of action for the next future.

In this paper, the authors apply new tools from decision theory which allow to take into account experts disagreement about climate change catastrophes. The results, confirmed by both mathematical and numerical methods, indicate that the more experts disagree the more we should reduce emissions today. The effect of scientific ambiguity was tested on the case of the collapse of the ocean circulation in the Atlantic, featured in the science-fiction movie The day after tomorrow.

The study is the outcome of a research project funded by the European Commission. It  comes at a time when international climate policy has to begin to operationalize the agreement reached in Paris last December.

Full citation information: Managing Catastrophic Climate Risks Under Model Uncertainty Aversion, Management Science, Articles in Advance, pp. primary_article