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Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 20;8(1):1607. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01792-x.

New science of climate change impacts on agriculture implies higher social cost of carbon.

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Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California Davis, 2140 Wickson Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.
Global Trade Analysis Project, Purdue University, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.
Purdue Climate Change Research Center, 203 S. Martin Jischke Drive Gerald D. and Edna E. Mann Hall, Suite 105, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.
Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.


Despite substantial advances in climate change impact research in recent years, the scientific basis for damage functions in economic models used to calculate the social cost of carbon (SCC) is either undocumented, difficult to trace, or based on a small number of dated studies. Here we present new damage functions based on the current scientific literature and introduce these into an integrated assessment model (IAM) in order to estimate a new SCC. We focus on the agricultural sector, use two methods for determining the yield impacts of warming, and the GTAP CGE model to calculate the economic consequences of yield shocks. These new damage functions reveal far more adverse agricultural impacts than currently represented in IAMs. Impacts in the agriculture increase from net benefits of $2.7 ton-1 CO2 to net costs of $8.5 ton-1, leading the total SCC to more than double.

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