Alison, Paul Loosen, Sarah Crespi discussed on Science Magazine Podcast
Twenty one. I'm sarah crespi each week feature the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals first up this week. The new biden administration announced on day. One has plans to recalculate the social cost of carbon. It's basically a way of estimating the economic toll of greenhouse gases produced today on future generations staff writer. Paul discusses why this value is so important and how it will be determined next up researcher in barker talks about the sounds of naked mole. Rats you may already know that these amazing mammals are pain and cancer resistant. But did you know that they make these little chirps to identify themselves. As members of their colony as a new administration comes into power in the united states. We're seeing some swift changes in certain scientific areas rejoining the who the paris climate agreement. A new director of the office of science technology and among these early moves the biden administration has also asked for a recalibration of the social cost of carbon staff writer. Paul loosen is here to talk about this change. Hypo hello high. So this was announced on the first day biden was in office that the cost of carbon to future generations needs to be looked at. What exactly are they counting here. This gets pretty pretty quickly. But the social cost of carbon essentially is used in all the big regulatory decisions that the government makes it essentially takes the economic damage which really reflects the damage to our everyday. Lives will come with a policy that allows more greenhouse gas emissions or less greenhouse gas emissions. Now runs it out through the future then comes back to put a number on what those emissions are going to cost us so it's like a price on carbon except it's not it's not a carbon tax or anything what was happening under trump. So obama had put this all together under his administration when trump came in they may to small changes that drastically decrease the number so i instead reflecting the damage done to the entire world. It looked only at the damage. Done the united states in the future and it increase some as called the discount rate which is essentially how we value future generations. And what we can do with when we get wealthier to kind of a combination of those two you increase that enough. You essentially go far enough in a future. You don't care what happens. There was basically a devaluing down to a dollar per tonne of carbon. Co two in some circumstances before. Gets you what it's going to be potentially in the next Four years how will this carbon cost be calculated. Now what are they gonna take an how. What are these numbers that we just mentioned about discount and how far into the future. We look how those going to be calculated before said they'll go back to the global damage feel bama administration news and they have to timespans here. I a rapid thirty day revision and then a year long final update that rapid thirty day revision. They could either go back to the obama era policies or they could even set the discount rate lower. Which many economists think is appropriate and new york state actually in their own calculation late last year. What might devalue be then for this short palpitation. The thirty day one or the yearlong. How would it compare to that one dollar amount that you talked about. Possibly within thirty days it could go up to one hundred. Twenty five dollars per tonne. That discount rate is a powerful thing on its own so that's moving from three percent to a two percent rate everything staying the same including global damages. There are a lot more changes that could happen for that year. Long update that could reflect a lot of new signs and new methods are now going into the bottles that form this number. What are people looking at with respect to climate. Let's take that first. How might that be different than what was considered under the obama administration so these economic models scott integrated assessment models that you're used to produce all this you know they have lots of knobs the climate models like this very simple climate models are built into them didn't really reflect the best science particularly. They warmed to slow compared to more complex models. Now there have been a few new simple models felt by climate scientists that more accurately reflect that consensus so those can probably be used and one big change is. There's been a group of economists and climate scientists who've been putting together these econometric estimates of the future damage of climate change damage from climate pile uncertainty onto uncertainty. They take these massive data sets from as many countries as they could find globally and look at short term variations over a couple of decades or shifting weather use that to try and extrapolate out into the future to some extent so there's more data informing is policies even if they are ultimately uncertain this value if it was that one hundred times or possibly more what kinds of regulations this is gonna impact when is taken into consideration. Can you give us some examples. So any of your teen air. Regulations determining the future of power electricity in the country. That's all regulated by epa that will all factor in this cost of carbon the efficiency standards for a refrigerator cars all these things that the government overseas it often makes ways oria compelling case even more compelling the rarely flips it from negative to positive and that cost benefit analysis so it's a tricky standard cousin. See with a number. How much moves. How much do you rely on that to support your decision making the it's a complex dance but knowing that this value is out there will make this assertion stronger and it's has a lot of validity and i think the courts would respect to. Why do you think that this is something that the administration decided to do day. One is it because there's probably a lot of new regulation on the horizon and this needs to be there to buttress. I mean there's a lot of for to be done and think the thirty day kyle people by surprise but this will probably as needed to start getting to work allow these regulations that they'll be looking at the trump administration did wreak did the obama administration ones and so they can't just repeal them. They have to rework through the rulemaking process and to get that started. You need this higher. Cost of carbon probably. Okay thanks so much paul. Thank you paul. Visit is a staff writer for science. You can find a link to this article. At science mag dot org slash. Podcast could naked mole. Rats be the new model for language. Learning stick around for the sound of naked mole rats chirping at each other and my interview with researcher and barker about what the sounds mean naked mole. Rats are famous for a few reasons first. They have some striking biological features like being resistant to cancer and insensitive to certain types of pain. they're also use social mammals. They live in colonies with a queen now in a science paper this week. Alison barker and colleagues. Show that naked mole. Rats learn songs from each other. Allison is here to talk about how they figured this out and why it's so special. Hi alison hi sarah. Thanks for having me here today. Sure i love talking about these guys at find the so amazing researchers have been studying these rodents for a long time and what. They've not noticed. These interesting sounds that they make..