Catastrophe, Uncertainty, and the Costs of Climate Change Damage

EPA Grant Number: U915595
Title: Catastrophe, Uncertainty, and the Costs of Climate Change Damage
Investigators: Wright, Evelyn L.
Institution: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $45,998
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Economics and Decision Sciences , Fellowship - Economics and Business


The objective of this research project is to explore and develop methods for incorporating the possibility of catastrophic consequences into the economic analysis of potential climate -change damages. The current state of scientific knowledge concerning several identified potential catastrophes will be examined, and economically relevant features will be extracted.


The natural scientific literature on several different potential climate catastrophes will be reviewed, and the state-of-the-knowledge concerning their probability and consequence profiles will be analyzed. One particular event—the possibility of changes in global ocean circulation—will be analyzed in particular detail, with a focus on the consequences for the degree of climate variability. The effects of changes in variability on economic costs, and the potential for economic adaptation to climate change, will be analyzed using Bayesian learning and option -value models.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Bayesian learning, catastrophe, climate, economic analysis., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Economics, decision-making, Atmosphere, Economics & Decision Making, environmental monitoring, environmental cost, economic research, Bayesian approach, extreme weather events, global change, climate studies, catastrophe, economic models, probablility, uncertainty factors, changing environmental conditions, climate variability, Global Climate Change

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final