Different people want to know different things about climate change, and the Climate Impact Lab is among those trying to help them make those connections. The group on its website features an interactive map so users can explore the past, present, and future of extreme temperatures in 25,000 locales around the world. In this profile, Lab co-director Michael Greenstone, who leads the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, explains the mission of the work. “We’re trying to give people and communities a sense of what climate change is going to mean on the ground for them,” Greenstone says. By connecting data-driven climate damages to social and economic impacts, he says, the group aims to make the issue more relevant for policymakers, investors, business leaders, and households.
William Pizer, Matthew Adler, Joseph Aldy, David Anthoff, Maureen Cropper, Kenneth Gillingham, Michael Greenstone, Brian Murray, Richard Newell, Richard Richels, Arden Rowell, Stephanie Waldhoff, Jonathan Wiener, “Using and improving the social cost of carbon,” Science,
The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a crucial tool for economic analysis of climate policies. The SCC estimates the dollar value of reduced climate change damages associated with a one-metric-ton reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Although the conceptual basis, challenges, and merits of the SCC are well established, its use in government cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is relatively new. In light of challenges in constructing the SCC, its newness in government regulation, and the importance of updating, we propose an institutional process for regular SCC review and revision when used in government policy-making and suggest how scientists might contribute to improved SCC estimates.