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WIREs Clim Change
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Modeling the climate and carbon systems to estimate the social cost of carbon

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This study compares 10 models of the global carbon and climate systems, that represent model sophistication ranging from very simple parameterizations to Earth System Models of Intermediate complexity (EMICS): DICE, PAGE, FUND, FAIR, Hector, OSCAR, ACC2, MAGICC, MESM, and UVic. The focus of this analysis is on how these models meet scientific design and transparency criteria recommended by a recent Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, for developing a monetized estimate of the future damages from an incremental increase in carbon dioxide emissions in a given year (i.e., the social cost of carbon dioxide [SC‐CO2]). The National Academies report directly addresses methods for estimating the SC‐CO2, including a chapter outlining specific recommendations for a carbon/climate module. The carbon/climate piece of the model platform will capture the dispersion of carbon and energy through the earth system, and estimate the resulting change in several globally averaged metrics: temperature change, sea level, and ocean acidity. A number of model characteristics are evaluated and the findings identify models that meet the recommendations associated with each characteristic. Based on these findings, there are several publically available carbon/climate models that would meet the recommendations presented by the National Academies. This article is categorized under: Climate Economics > Economics and Climate Change

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