Key uncertainties in climate change policy: Results from ICAM-2

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A critical aspect of climate change decision-making is uncertainties in current understanding of the socioeconomic, climatic and biogeochemical processes involved. Decision-making processes are much better informed if these uncertainties are characterized and their implications understood. Quantitative analysis of these uncertainties serve to: inform decision makers about the likely outcome of policy initiatives; and help set priorities for research so that outcome ambiguities faced by the decision-makers are reduced. A family of integrated assessment models of climate change have been developed at Carnegie Mellon. These models are distinguished from other integrated assessment efforts in that they were designed from the outset ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 21 p.

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Dowlatabadi, H. & Kandlikar, M. December 31, 1995.

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A critical aspect of climate change decision-making is uncertainties in current understanding of the socioeconomic, climatic and biogeochemical processes involved. Decision-making processes are much better informed if these uncertainties are characterized and their implications understood. Quantitative analysis of these uncertainties serve to: inform decision makers about the likely outcome of policy initiatives; and help set priorities for research so that outcome ambiguities faced by the decision-makers are reduced. A family of integrated assessment models of climate change have been developed at Carnegie Mellon. These models are distinguished from other integrated assessment efforts in that they were designed from the outset to characterize and propagate parameter, model, value, and decision-rule uncertainties. The most recent of these models is ICAM 2.0. This model includes demographics, economic activities, emissions, atmospheric chemistry, climate change, sea level rise and other impact modules and the numerous associated feedbacks. The model has over 700 objects of which over 1/3 are uncertain. These have been grouped into seven different classes of uncertain items. The impact of uncertainties in each of these items can be considered individually or in combinations with the others. In this paper we demonstrate the relative contribution of various sources of uncertainty to different outcomes in the model. The analysis shows that climatic uncertainties are most important, followed by uncertainties in damage calculations, economic uncertainties and direct aerosol forcing uncertainties. Extreme uncertainties in indirect aerosol forcing and behavioral response to climate change (adaptation) were characterized by using bounding analyses; the results suggest that these extreme uncertainties can dominate the choice of policy outcomes.

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Medium: P; Size: 21 p.

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OSTI as DE97005238

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  • 6. global warming international conference and expo, San Francisco, CA (United States), 3-6 Apr 1995

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  • Other: DE97005238
  • Report No.: CONF-950421--1
  • Grant Number: FG02-94ER61916
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 465909
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc674619

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 31, 1995

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:21 a.m.

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  • Nov. 6, 2015, 12:22 p.m.

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Dowlatabadi, H. & Kandlikar, M. Key uncertainties in climate change policy: Results from ICAM-2, article, December 31, 1995; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc674619/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.