Papers on Use and Misuse of Climate Scenarios


Non-technical overview: Pielke, Jr. R. (2018). Opening up the climate policy envelope. Issues in Science and Technology34(4), 30-36.

Detailed history and critique: Pielke, Jr. R. and Ritchie, J., Systemic Misuse of Scenarios in Climate Research and Assessment (April 21, 2020). Available at SSRN:

Quantitative evaluation (GDP and CO2): Burgess, M. G., Ritchie, J., Shapland, J., & Pielke, R., Jr. (2020, February 18). IPCC baseline scenarios over-project CO2 emissions and economic growth.

Quantitative evaluation (energy intensity and carbon intensity, AR5): Stevenson, S., & Pielke Jr, R. (2018). Assumptions of Spontaneous Decarbonization in the IPCC AR5 Baseline Scenarios. (PDF)

Quantitative evaluation (energy intensity and carbon intensity, AR4): Pielke, R., Wigley, T., & Green, C. (2008). Dangerous assumptions. Nature, 452(7187), 531-532. (PDF)

Case study (tropical cyclones): Pielke Jr, R. A. (2007). Future economic damage from tropical cyclones: sensitivities to societal and climate changesPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences365(1860), 2717-2729.

Case study (disaster loss projections): Pielke Jr, R. (2007). Mistreatment of the economic impacts of extreme events in the Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change. Global Environmental Change, 17(3-4), 302-310.

Case study (tropical cyclones): Pielke Jr, R. A., Klein, R., & Sarewitz, D. (2000). Turning the big knob: An evaluation of the use of energy policy to modulate future climate impactsEnergy & Environment11(3), 255-275.

More general discussion: Pielke Jr, R. A. (2003). The role of models in prediction for decision. Models in ecosystem science, 111-135. (PDF)

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