Mounting evidence indicates that ocean acidification and warming (OAW) pose significant risks of systemic collapse of many critical ocean and coastal ecosystem services. Attention has been focused on the drastic reductions, if not extinction, of coral reefs, inundation of coastlines, massive ocean dead zones, collapse of both capture and subsistence fisheries in highly dependent regions and significant disruption of the ocean’s carbon sequestration capacity. The economic costs of OAW have yet to be adequately researched or included in estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC). This article summarizes current knowledge about the economic costs of OAW and suggests alternative approaches for incorporating these costs into the federal government’s SCC. Preliminary results suggest that accounting for OAW would raise SCC 1.5–4.7 times higher than the current federal rate, to $60–$200 mt− 1 CO2-e.
Talberth J. & Niemi E., 2017. Ocean acidification and warming: the economic toll and implications for the social cost of carbon. In Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Book chapter (subscription required).