Immediate action is the best strategy when facing uncertain climate change.

Abou Chakra, Maria, Bumann, Silke, Schenk, Hanna, Oschlies, Andreas and Traulsen, Arne (2018) Immediate action is the best strategy when facing uncertain climate change. Open Access Nature Communications, 9 (1). Art.Nr. 2566. DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-04968-1.

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Abstract

Mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change is a collective problem that requires global cooperation. However, achieving cooperation is difficult since benefits are obtained in the future. The so-called collective-risk game, devised to capture dangerous climate change, showed that catastrophic economic losses promote cooperation when individuals know the timing of a single climatic event. In reality, the impact and timing of climate change is not certain; moreover, recurrent events are possible. Thus, we devise a game where the risk of a collective loss can recur across multiple rounds. We find that wait and see behavior is successful only if players know when they need to contribute to avoid danger and if contributions can eliminate the risks. In all other cases, act quickly is more successful, especially under uncertainty and the possibility of repeated losses. Furthermore, we incorporate influential factors such as wealth inequality and heterogeneity in risks. Even under inequality individuals should contribute early, as long as contributions have the potential to decrease risk. Most importantly, we find that catastrophic scenarios are not necessary to induce such immediate collective action.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41467-018-04968-1
ISSN: 2041-1723
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2018 12:54
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:11
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/43623

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