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Original Research Papers

The economic implications of carbon cycle uncertainty

Authors:

Steven J. Smith ,

Joint Global Change Research Institute, 8400 Baltimore Avenue Suite 201, College Park, MD 20740-2496, US
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James A. Edmonds

Joint Global Change Research Institute, 8400 Baltimore Avenue Suite 201, College Park, MD 20740-2496, US
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Abstract

This paper examines the implications of uncertainty in the carbon cycle for the cost of stabilizing carbon dioxide concentrations. Using a state of the art integrated assessment model, we find that uncertainty in our understanding of the carbon cycle has significant implications for the costs of a climate stabilization policy, with cost differences denominated in trillions of dollars. Uncertainty in the carbon cycle is equivalent to a change in concentration target of up to 100 ppmv. The impact of carbon cycle uncertainties are smaller than those for climate sensitivity, and broadly comparable to the effect of uncertainty in technology availability.

How to Cite: Smith, S.J. and Edmonds, J.A., 2006. The economic implications of carbon cycle uncertainty. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 58(5), pp.586–590. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2006.00217.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2006
 Accepted on 3 Jul 2006            Submitted on 30 Dec 2005

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