For some odd reason, maybe it was the slow season, Retraction Watch has caught up with the Journal of Economic Prospectives latest gremlin whacker (gremlins being the newest moles), aka correction of Richard Tol's 2009 article on the costs of climate change. Eli, of course, being the quick and dirty bunny he is had already had a say, but there remain things both interesting, perplexing and concerning about the paper, and indeed all of the papers that Richard cites for his paper, best seen in the figure displayed in the gremlin whacker linked above
The problem is that neither the discussion in the original paper, the WGII or pretty much anywhere else, does not reference baselines for each calculation or for the conglomeration of calculations.
This of course is irrelevant to the question of whether IAM calculations are worth a bucket of warm spit (this being a family blog, which a few exceptions when Dad Rabett goes nuclear).
The serious question is what is the baseline for each study and which sets the zero of the temperature scale? Did Poor Richard align the baseline for all the calculations. For which is the baseline pre-industrial (in which case the world is now past Tol’s outlying positive point at 1.0 C), 1860 or so when instrumental records start in which case the world is pretty close to it, or some more recent time, in which case, another couple of degrees would, at least according to Tol, have little effect.
Eli notes that Chris
Eli has an honest question here. Maybe.