Moore finds even Obama administration may have set social cost of carbon too low
As the Trump administration slashes federal estimates of the future costs of climate change, new research suggests that even the much higher cost calculated by the Obama administration might be too low.
A new study indicates that properly accounting for the impacts on agriculture could substantially raise estimates of how much global warming will cost the world in damages. While higher levels of carbon dioxide may provide some benefits to plants, research increasingly suggests that the negative effects of rising temperatures will outweigh these advantages on a global scale. This means agriculture may suffer far greater losses in the future than previous estimates indicated. And accounting for these damages significantly raises the value of the social cost of the carbon, an oft-used federal metric that estimates the monetary costs associated with emitting climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
"I think this exercise, and the body of scientific evidence that it rests on, kind of show that, yes, while not every effect of climate change is negative—you do get benefits from CO2 fertilization—the negative effects of warming in most areas more than cancel that out," said Frances Moore, an environmental economics expert at the University of California, Davis, and lead author of the new paper.