Global Warming and the American Economy

Global Warming and the American Economy

A Regional Assessment of Climate Change Impacts

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Robert Mendelsohn

The impact of climate change on seven regions of the United States is studied in this new and accessible collection. The study examines how the different regions of the United States may be affected by climate change. In particular, the study explores whether warming would be beneficial to the northern (colder) regions but harmful to the economies of the southern (warmer) regions.

Chapter 4: Timber: Ecological-economic analysis

Brent Sohngen and Robert Mendelsohn

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, environmental sociology


4. Timber: Ecological–economic analysis Brent Sohngen and Robert Mendelsohn INTRODUCTION This study estimates the regional effects of climate change on US timber markets. Two analyses are developed. The first analysis disaggregates the results of Sohngen and Mendelsohn (1999) into estimates of regional effects.1 The second analysis presents the sensitivity of regional effects to region-specific climate change. In this second analysis, the baseline scenario is the central scenario of a 2.5°C warming and a 7 per cent increase in precipitation. Each region is then individually exposed to a harsher and a milder climate scenario. This second analysis examines regional climate variation, whereas the first experiment examines the impact of climate predictions from a single GCM. Both analyses rely on the methods developed in Sohngen and Mendelsohn (1998, 1999). REGIONAL EFFECTS FROM NATIONAL CLIMATE SCENARIOS Methods The model in Sohngen and Mendelsohn (1999) is used here to estimate regional changes in consumer and producer surplus arising from climate change for six regions in the United States.2 The original model contained only four timber types within the United States, based on the existing distribution of timber species used heavily for industrial purposes: southern pines, northern mixed pines, western conifers and pacific northwestern conifers. These timber types are found in specific regions under current climate conditions but were predicted to move with climate change by the ecosystem model (see Vegetation Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project, VEMAP 1995). The timber model was designed to capture these predicted shifts in boundaries...

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