Kathleen Miller's Home Page

An Institute on the Economics of the Climate Resource

This report provides a record of the presentations made at the Institute on the Economics of the Climate Resource. The institute, held at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, June 5-7 1995, was funded by the Economics and Human Dimensions section of NOAA's Office of Global Programs. The purpose of the institute was to nurture the development of a research community able to contribute to an improved understanding of economic aspects of climatic variability and climate change.

When organizing the institute, I envisioned it as an intensive short-course for Ph.D. level economists and advanced graduate students whose research on climate policy or climate impacts could benefit from an improved understanding of the atmospheric sciences as welll as exposure to ongoing high quality research by other economists and policy analysts working in the field. The lectures reproduced in this report are designed to convey an understanding of how the Earth's climate system works, why it is inherently complex and variable, how human activities may affect that system and the implications of climatic variability and climate change for economic activity and human welfare. A broad range of topics is covered, with attention given to questions relating to global climate change as well as to climate and weather in the present day. The selection of topics was guided by my belief that a good understanding of the science is required for proper modeling of the economic aspects of global warming. The full text of the lectures is provided together with supporting graphics. The course materials also included an extensive structured bibliography compiled by Robert Parkin.

The institute provided a forum for the productive exchange of ideas and information among the participants and instructors. To sustain and broaden this exchange, an E-mail discussion group called CLIM-ECON was created as a follow-up to the institute to foster continued multi-disciplinary communication. It is a moderated list open to any individual interested in research or policy relating to economic aspects of climatic variability and climate change.

The institute involved a total of 49 participants and 18 instructors. The instructors included members of the atmospheric sciences community, economists, a specialist in crop-climate modeling, a statistician and builders of integrated models designed to address poicy options nad impacts relating to global climate change. The participants were drawn primarily from the economics discipline, but individuals in both academic and non-academic positions with backgrounds in a variety of other natural, policy and social sciences participated as well. NOAA funding allowed us to offer full or partial support to slightly more than half of the participants. The majority of the funded participants were junior faculty members and graduate students. I look forward to the continued development of this area of inquiry and hope that the institute, this report and our efforts to maintain avenues for communication will enhance the further development of the research community.

Dr. Kathleen A. Miller

Environmental and Societal Impacts Group
National Center for Atmospheric Research

Table of Contents

An Overview of Earth's Climate System - Stephen H. Schneider

Past and Projected Climate Change: What have we done and how
rapidly can we influence the future?
- T.M.L. Wigley

Variability, Climate and Weather: El Niño Teleconnections - Kevin Trenberth

An Overview of Climate Modeling - Warren Washington

An Overview of the Carbon Cycle - David Schimel

Approaches to Regional Climate Modeling - Filippo Giorgi

Statistical Description of Climate and Detection of Change - Richard Katz

Weather Forecasting: Technology and Predictability - Chris Davis

Valuation of Improved Weather Forecasts - Richard Katz

Climate and Agriculture: A Review and Some Observations - Richard Adams

Crop Models: The Importance of Variability and Extremes - Linda Mearns

Economic Effects of Climate Change on U.S. Forests: An Overview and Preliminary Policy Analysis - Neil A. Leary

Investment in Water Resources Under Climate Change - Anthony Fisher

Climate Change and Rural Development: A View from the Farm Household - Stephen A. Vosti

The Effects of Climate Change on Outdoor Recreation Visitation and Benefits: Preliminary Estimates for Selected Recreation Activities - John Loomis

Climate Change Costs: A General Equilibrium Analysis for the United States - Neil A. Leary

Integrated Assessments of climate Change: Successes and Pitfalls - Hadi Dowlatabadi

The Climate Framework for Uncertainty, Negotiation and distribution - Richard S.J. Tol

For ordering information contact Kathleen Miller