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Business school employs analysis software to advise on climate change

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A research group at Cambridge University's Judge Business School has developed an analysis model to investigate climate change, using @Risk software from Palisade.

Cambridge Judge Business School offers management teaching and research for the University of Cambridge, as well as research for external organisations including government bodies. Its Management Science Research Group provided key input to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.

The research group developed an analysis model, PAGE2002 (for Policy Analysis of the Greenhouse Effect) using @Risk software from Palisade. 2002 was used by the staff at Stern to investigate climate change across the world. 

They researched issues such as the impacts of the sea level rising and increases in temperature making land infertile or unfarmable, and balanced these against the costs of various options available to tackle global warming. At one end of the scale, doing nothing costs nothing, but the environmental consequences will be high. However, activity that reduces the severity of the impacts may itself be very expensive. The aim of the @Risk model is to enable people to make informed decisions on the optimum way to deal with climate change (i.e. how much to cut back on damaging activity and what methods to use).

@Risk also helps researchers tackle a key problem associated with investigating climate change, namely that the different effects of the various factors that influence it are themselves, undetermined. For example, the historical evidence does not pin down exactly how much global temperatures will increase if CO2 emissions double. @Risk enables researchers to quantify this uncertainty in order that they have a measurement of the accuracy of their findings.