Research Seminar

Would Solar Geoengineering Devalue Research on Climate Response? — Elnaz Roshan

04 Dez 2019

Institut für Weltwirtschaft


Elnaz Roshan (Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, University of Hamburg)


Solar Geoengineering (SG) is regarded as a climate policy that can reduce the influence of temperature response uncertainty inexpensively compared to traditional greenhouse gas emissions mitigation. Its side-effects, however, might be perceived as an important metric when society decides on implementing SG to ameliorate anthropogenic global warming. The main contribution of this study is the inclusion of exogenous anticipated learning about the climate re-sponse while not only considering temperature risk but also precipitation risk in both globally-aggregated and regionally-disaggregated analyses. Here social welfare is optimized in a cost-risk analysis, which is a target-based decision analytic framework that makes a trade-off between climate policy costs and climate risks of exceeding a climate target, and incorporates future learning about the true value of climate sensitivity. Considering probabilistic information about climate sensitivity and its perfect correlation with transient climate response, this investigation focuses on estimating the expected value of information when perfect information about climate response arrives exogenously in 2050 compared to a no-learning case. Results indicate that for a 2°C temperature target in combination with a 66% compliance level, the value of research and receiving perfect information can be almost three times more in a joint-mitigation-SG analysis compared to a mitigation-only analysis when regional precipitation risks are considered. Nevertheless, there is almost no value in learning about the climate response if social planner only cares about the temperature risk in the joint-mitigation-SG analysis. Near-term policies will stay almost unchanged when globally-aggregated climate risks are investigated. Current climate policy investments, however, can be reduced until better information arrives when regionally-disaggregated precipitation risks are considered.


Elnaz Roshan (Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, University of Hamburg)


Common Room (A-111)