Jan 052016
  • CLOUD Experiment Reduces Climate Sensitivity to CO2

    The CLOUD experiments at the nuclear facility CERN showed that the ionization of the atmosphere by cosmic rays account for nearly one-third of all particles formed. The experiments also shows the aerosol particle formed from biogenic nucleation from naturally produce organic vapour “was the dominant source of particles in the pristine pre-industrial atmosphere”, and that the amount of aerosol was much higher than previously assumed. That means that pre-industrial atmosphere was cloudier than previously assumed, as the aerosols seed cloud formation, and that greenhouse gases caused a much smaller portion of the warming since pre-industrial times. The climate sensitivity in climate models must be reduced for them to match past aerosol amounts and the temperature record. […]

  • Empirically Constrained Climate Sensitivity and the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

    The authors applied the 2015 Lewis and Curry equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) distribution to the widely-used DICE and FUND Integrated Assessment Models. Previously the developers of these models (and others) have relied on model-simulated distribution of ECS values. using the empirical ECS distribution, the estimated SCC drops substantially in both the DICE and FUND models, and in the latter there is a large probability it is no longer even positive. The FUND model calculates that emissions in 2010 using a 5% discount rate have a SCC of -$0.65/tCO2, that is, emissions are beneficial. The ECS used however, is too high because it fails to account for urban contamination of the surface temperature record nor natural long-term climate change. […]

  • Calculating the “Social Cost” of CO2 Emissions Using FUND

    The social cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (SCCO2) is defined as the social worldwide costs (net of benefits) of emitting one tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere. The estimated SCCO2 is used for doing cost-benefit calculations for proposed government regulations. Integrated assessment models are used to estimate the SCCO2 considering demographic and economic variables in addition to the physical climate system. The temperature responses in IAM approximately match complex climate models. One of the IAMs, FUND, is freely available. This article presents plots and tables that give some idea of what FUND does. Using a 3% discount rate FUND calculates net damages of US$30/tCO2 if the climate sensitivity is 3.5 °C, and US$16/tCO2 of net benefits if the climate sensitivity is 1.0 °C for emissions in 2010, in constant US$2016. […]

  • The Economic Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) are used to determine the social costs and benefits of greenhouse gas emissions for making climate policies. The most important parameter in determining the economic impact of climate change is the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gas emissions. The transient climate response to CO2 emissions at the time of a doubling of CO2 using an empirical energy balance method was estimated at 0.85 °C, using the newest aerosol estimates, and accounting for urban warming contamination of the surface temperature record and the natural warming from the Little Ice Age. The equilibrium climate sensitivity was estimated at 1.02 °C. Using the FUND integrated assessment model results, the mean estimate of the social cost of carbon on a global basis is determined to be -16.6 US$/tonne of CO2, and is extremely likely to be less than -4.3 US$/tonne of CO2. The calculations assume emissions in 2020, a 3% discount rate and constant US$2007. […]

  • The Cost-Benefit Question on City of Calgary Climate Change Plans

    The City of Calgary has been actively engaged in incorporating climate change planning into almost every level of municipal culture. But has anyone stopped to ask questions about the Cost-Benefit of some of these proposals and initiatives? Do citizens even know what some aspects of ‘going green’ will cost them? Is ‘climate change’ too often a diversion of funds and attention from more serious municipal needs like flood mitigation, infrastructure, or homelessness? Friends of Science Society has issued two reports responding to the City of Calgary’s Climate Change Plan. […]

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