A Big Data Revolution in Assessing Climate Risk

October 11, 2018
MIT Building 56, Room 114 and webcast live

Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing humanity, yet most of what we know about its economic impacts come from models that were developed before the modern empirical climate impacts literature emerged. This new literature has been made possible by recent advances in remote sensing, climate models, and computing power. On October 11, 2018, Co-Chair of J-PAL’s Energy and Environment sector Michael Greenstone will discuss his work with the Climate Impact Lab (CIL); a team of 25+ researchers who are combining climate science, econometrics, and big data analytics to quantify climate change risks. These efforts will result in two main products: (1) the development of an empirically founded estimate of the social cost of carbon that can guide global climate policy and (2) highly local information on climate risks that can help communities adapt. Greenstone’s talk will focus on the health and energy impacts of climate change and also outline the CIL’s ongoing work.

Michael Greenstone is Milton Friedman Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Director of the Becker Friedman Institute, and Director of the Energy Policy Institute. His research focuses on uncovering the benefits and costs of environmental quality and society’s energy choices. His current work is focused on testing innovative ways to increase energy access and improve the efficiency of environmental regulations around the world. He previously served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, directed The Hamilton Project, and served as editor for the Journal of Political Economy. Michael is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and serves as co-chair of J-PAL’s Environment and Energy sector.