Journal Article

Uncertainty in Integrated Assessment Models of Climate Change: Alternative Analytical Approaches


  • Golub
  • A.
  • Narita
  • D.
  • Schmidt
  • M.G.W.
Publication Date

Uncertainty plays a key role in the economics of climate change, and research on this topic has led to a substantial body of literature. However, the discussion on the policy implications of uncertainty is still far from being settled, partly because the uncertainty of climate change comes from a variety of sources and takes diverse forms. To reflect the multifaceted nature of climate change uncertainty better, an increasing number of analytical approaches have been used in the studies of integrated assessment models of climate change. The employed approaches could be seen as complements rather than as substitutes, each of which possesses distinctive strength for addressing a particular type of problems. We review these approaches—specifically, the non-recursive stochastic programming, the real option analysis, and the stochastic dynamic programming—their corresponding literatures and their respective policy implications. We also identify the current research gaps associated with the need for further developments of new analytical approaches.

Kiel Institute Expert

Key Words

  • Dynamic programming
  • economics of climate change
  • integrated assessment models
  • learning
  • real options
  • uncertainty
  • Unsichderheit

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