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Climate Change: An Integrated Perspective

Willem Jozef Meine Martens, Jan Rotmans
Published 1999 · Environmental Science
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The consequences of rapid and substantial human-induced global climate change on life on Earth could be far-reaching. The impact on society of stringent emission control programs could be enormous, and the efficiency of such action may be highly debatable. The climate change issue’s characteristic of prompt costs and delayed benefits has resulted in early policy research being focused on analysis of the cost-effectiveness of various greenhouse gas abatement strategies. These studies do not help decisionmakers to identify climate change policy objectives, they only address the costs of meeting various abatement targets and the efficacy of different strategies. Consequently, scientific climate research has focused on explorations of the Earth’s environment assuming that the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases continues to increase. Little effort has been expended on the exploration of the interactions among the various elements of the climate problem, on a systematic evaluation of climate stabilisation benefits or on the costs of adapting to a changed climate.

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