The study provides data on the gains and losses attributed to each country. Science Daily


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According to a Dartmouth study, there is a solid scientific basis for climate liability claims against individual countries.

The first study to examine the economic effects that individual countries have on other countries due to their collective national-level contributions towards global warming is this one. Research shows that there are direct connections between national heat-trapping gases emissions and gross domestic product gains or losses in 143 countries, for which data are available.

The journal published the study. Climatic changeIt provides a foundation for nations to file legal claims for economic losses related to warming and emissions.

Justin Mankin, assistant professor of geography at Dartmouth, senior researcher on the study, stated that greenhouse gases are emitted by one country and cause warming in the other. This can lead to economic decline. “This research provides legally valuable estimates of the financial damage individual countries have suffered from other countries’ climate-changing actions.”

The research revealed that $6 trillion of global economic losses have been caused by warming due to the emissions of a few countries.

According to the study, global income losses of $1.8 trillion were caused by the U.S. and China’s top emitters over the 25-year span starting in 1990. For the same period, economic losses incurred by Brazil, India, and Russia total more than $500 billion. Six trillion dollars in cumulative losses attributed to these five countries is approximately 11% of the annual global GDP during the study period.

Christopher Callahan is the first author and Dartmouth PhD student. “This research provides an answer for the question of whether climate liability claims are supported by scientific evidence,” he said. “We have quantified the responsibility of each nation for historical temperature-driven income fluctuations in every other country.”

Warmer temperatures can lead to economic losses in a country by many means, including lowering agricultural yields and reducing labor productivity.

Research shows that in addition to the loss, there are also economic benefits that can be derived from rising temperatures caused by national-level emissions. However, it is important to note that the large gains that favor certain countries more than others do not erase the losses.

The study only examines the economic impact of temperature rise as a consequence and not other effects like those on air quality. The study presents data that quantifies the economic impact of greenhouse gas emissions accounting schemes. This includes emissions occurring within a country and those embodied in international trading.

Research has shown that global warming is unevenly distributed. The top 10 global emitters account for more than two-thirds worldwide losses. Countries that lose income are typically warmer and less wealthy than the global average. They are often located in the tropics, the global South, and the tropics. The countries that earn income are more wealthy and cooler than the global average, and they are usually located in the North and middle latitudes.

Mankin stated that “Irrespective the accounting, warm countries have warmed and lost their income because of it,” while colder nations have warmed, but have enjoyed economic gains. “The main culprit for warming lies with a handful major emitters. This warming has led to the enrichment and exploitation of some wealthy countries at the expense or the most vulnerable people in the world.

Researchers have been trying to establish legal links between economic losses and greenhouse gas emissions for years. Although previous studies provided estimates of the global economic loss, they could not identify the warming that is attributable to specific nations. This undermines national efforts to hold emitting states responsible for legal damages due to the uncertainty.

Dartmouth’s research team created an analytical framework linking emissions from different countries to losses and gains in all other countries. This will help to resolve climate liability questions and ensure that climate policy is informed.

Callahan said, “For first time, it was possible to show clear statistically significant connections between the emission of certain countries and the historic economic losses experienced other countries.” “This is not about global warming’s effect on a country. It’s about the culpability and responsibility of individual countries.

According to the team, the study discredits climate mitigation as a “collective problem” where no country can affect the effects of global warming.

“Until now, emitters have been able to deny individual damage claims due to the complexity of carbon cycles, natural variations in climate and uncertainties in modeling. Mankin said that this veil has been lifted.

The team found that identifying national culpability shows that countries can have large, attributable effects from global warming due to their emissions. It also shows how the actions of individual countries do matter. Country-level mitigation would, even if it were pursued by itself, limit the harms to other nations.

Callahan stated that while nations must work together to prevent warming, it doesn’t mean individual countries cannot take action to drive change. “This research challenges the idea that warming is caused and impacted only at the global level.

Research on the causal chain of global warming from emissions to global heating, from warming to country level temperature changes and then to impact was a major challenge.

The research team combined climate models with historical data in order to overcome this problem.

The study analyzed 2 million possible values for every country-to-country interaction. On a supercomputer run by Dartmouth’s Research Information, Technology and Consulting, 11 trillion possible values were computed.

Callahan stated that this is the first time that all uncertainties have been accounted for in every step of the chain between economic impact and emissions. “We don’t address the question of whether fossil-fuels have been good for economic growth or not, but rather how to compensate the damage from the warming from those emission.”

Future work will use the same approach, according to the research team to determine the contribution of individual emitters to economic loss and gains.

The Wright Center for the Study of Computation and Just Communities funded the research. It is a research center located in Dartmouth’s NeukomInstitute for Computational Sciences. The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship also funded the research.


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