Socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification in the Mediterranean Sea

Ocean acidification appears as another environmental pressure associated with anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. This paper aims to assess the likely magnitude of this phenomenon in the Mediterranean region. This involves translating expected changes in ocean chemistry into impacts, first on marine and coastal ecosystems and then, through effects on services provided by these to humans, into socio-economic costs. Economic market and non-market valuation techniques are needed for this purpose. Important sectors affected are tourism and recreation, red coral extraction, and fisheries (both capture and aquaculture production). In addition, the costs associated with the disruption of ecosystem regulating services, notably carbon sequestration and non-use values will be considered. Finally, indirect impacts on other economic sectors will have to be estimated. The paper discusses the framework and methods to accomplish all of this, and offers a preliminary, qualitative overall assessment.

Rodrigues L. C., van den Bergh J. C. J. M. & Ghermandi C., in press. Socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Policy. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.07.005. Article (subscription required).

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