The ghosts of climates past and the specters of climate change future _Li
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The ghosts of climates past and the specters of climate change future

William D Nordhaus
Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 1972 Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520, USA and Department of Economics, Yale University, 28 Hillhouse Avenue, PO Box 1972, Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06511-1972, USA

This paper analyzes the role of climate in economic development, the relationship between climate and economic growth today, and the prospects for economic impacts from future climate change. The first part reviews different theories about the role of climate in economic and social development from an earlier age and develops the adaptive theory of climatic impact. It examines alternative views about the impact of climate change and emphasizes adaptation as the key to projecting the impact of future climate changes on human societies. The second section presents a non-technical survey of current knowledge about greenhouse warming. The final sections then discuss current knowledge about the impact of global warming on economic activity.

Keywords: Adaptive theories; Climatic determinism: Economics of climate change

 

 

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