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Climate uncertainty and economic development: evaluating the case of Mozambique to 2050

Channing Arndt () and James Thurlow

Climatic Change, 2015, vol. 130, issue 1, 63-75

Abstract: We apply a probabilistic approach to the evaluation of climate change impacts in Mozambique. We pass a distribution of climate shocks through a series of structural biophysical models. The resulting joint distributions of biophysical outcomes are then imposed on a dynamic economywide model. This framework produces distributions of economic impacts of climate change thus identifying an explicit range of potential economic outcomes and associating probability levels with given sets of outcomes. For example, we find that the economy of Mozambique may be up to 13 % smaller in 2050 compared with a fictional no climate change scenario (and assuming global policy fails to constrain emissions growth). The probability of gross domestic product (GDP) declines of greater than 10 % is relatively small at 2.5 %. These large declines are principally the result of dramatic reductions in flood return periods. To 2050, about 70 % of future climates result in GDP losses of between zero and five percent. In about 9 % of cases, climate change shocks result in higher GDP outcomes. We conclude that, relative to current practice, this structural probabilistic approach provides (i) significantly more information to decision-makers, (ii) more detailed insight into the importance of various impact channels, and (iii) a more holistic and comprehensive approach for evaluating adaptation options. Copyright UNU-WIDER 2015

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1007/s10584-014-1294-x

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