A recent report on arctic ice changes suggests that the polar ice cap is melting fast and that this melting will release more methane into the atmosphere, creating even more global warming.
“The imminent disappearance of the summer sea ice in the Arctic will have enormous implications for both the acceleration of climate change, and the release of methane from offshore waters which are now able to warm up in the summer. This massive methane boost will have major implications for global economies and societies,” Wadhams says.
The decline in Arctic sea ice has been widely seen as economically beneficial because it opens up more shipping and drilling in a region thought to contain 30 per cent of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13 per cent of its undiscovered oil.
But melting ice is releasing plumes of methane into the Earth’s atmosphere, speeding up the pace of global warming, Wadhams says.
Maybe. As readers of EclectEcon know, I am rarely persuaded by stories of doom and gloom having to do with global warming. But what really got to me in this story was this:
He called on world leaders to “kick-start investment in rigorous economic modelling” that calculates the impact of a changing Arctic landscape.
That's right. He says we need more gubmnt funding for economic models. As I wrote to Jack,
Their solution? gubmnt funding of economic models.
- which are likely to be no more accurate than the current climate-change models
- which are likely to be no more accurate than the current economic models
- which is self-serving rent-seeking on their part: Oh, there's a problem and the gubmnt should fund us to save the world.
Suppose the researchers are right. If so, or even if there is a good chance they are right, then private businesses have a HUGE incentive to do this modelling themselves. And who will they hire? Certainly not just alarmists and certainly not just self-promoting advocates. They want to get it right.
I would be surprised if there are not already many private consortiums working on these models.