Posts Tagged 'socio-economy'

The social cost of carbon

The social cost of carbon (SCC) provides a monetary measure of the net global harm resulting from a small increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Conversely, it also measures the net reduction in harm (social benefit) from a decrease. Federal agencies in the United States have developed a range of estimates of the SCC, with core values that anticipate net costs of about $50 per metric ton for emissions of carbon dioxide in the next few years, rising to about $80 for mid-century emissions. These estimates embody considerable uncertainty, and multiple factors indicate the actual SCC is probably several hundred dollars per ton. Those seeking to promote sustainable improvements in human wellbeing should forgo actions that would increase atmospheric carbon dioxide—or other greenhouse gasses with equivalent effects—unless they can yield benefits that more than offset these costs.

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Identifying potential consequences of natural perturbations and management decisions on a coastal fishery social-ecological system using qualitative loop analysis

Managing for sustainable development and resource extraction requires an understanding of the feedbacks between ecosystems and humans. These feedbacks are part of complex social-ecological systems (SES), in which resources, actors, and governance systems interact to produce outcomes across these component parts. Qualitative modeling approaches offer ways to assess complex SES dynamics. Loop analysis in particular is useful for examining and identifying potential outcomes from external perturbations and management interventions in data poor systems when very little is known about functional relationships and parameter values. Using a case study of multispecies, multifleet coastal small-scale fisheries, we demonstrate the application of loop analysis to provide predictions regarding SES responses to perturbations and management actions. Specifically, we examine the potential ecological and socioeconomic consequences to coastal fisheries of different governance interventions (e.g., territorial user rights, fisheries closures, market-based incentives, ecotourism subsidies) and environmental changes. Our results indicate that complex feedbacks among biophysical and socioeconomic components can result in counterintuitive and unexpected outcomes. For example, creating new jobs through ecotourism or subsidies might have mixed effects on members of fishing cooperatives vs. nonmembers, highlighting equity issues. Market-based interventions, such as ecolabels, are expected to have overall positive economic effects, assuming a direct effect of ecolabels on market-prices, and a lack of negative biological impacts under most model structures. Our results highlight that integrating ecological and social variables in a unique unit of management can reveal important potential trade-offs between desirable ecological and social outcomes, highlight which user groups might be more vulnerable to external shocks, and identify which interventions should be further tested to identify potential win-win outcomes across the triple-bottom line of the sustainable development paradigm.

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Linking the biological impacts of ocean acidification on oysters to changes in ecosystem services: A review

Continued anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying our oceans, and hydrogen ion concentrations in surface oceans are predicted to increase 150% by 2100. Ocean acidification (OA) is changing ocean carbonate chemistry, including causing rapid reductions in calcium carbonate availability with implications for many marine organisms, including biogenic reefs formed by oysters. The impacts of OA are marked. Adult oysters display both decreased growth and calcification rates, while larval oysters show stunted growth, developmental abnormalities, and increased mortality. These physiological impacts are affecting ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services by oyster reefs. Oysters are ecologically and economically important, providing a wide range of ecosystem services, such as improved water quality, coastlines protection, and food provision. OA has the potential to alter the delivery and the quality of the ecosystem services associated with oyster reefs, with significant ecological and economic losses. This review provides a summary of current knowledge of OA on oyster biology, but then links these impacts to potential changes to the provision of ecosystem services associated with healthy oyster reefs.

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Ocean acidification and warming: the economic toll and implications for the social cost of carbon

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.

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Valuing climate damages: Updating estimation of the social cost of carbon dioxide

The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is an economic metric intended to provide a comprehensive estimate of the net damages – that is, the monetized value of the net impacts, both negative and positive – from the global climate change that results from a small (1-metric ton) increase in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions. Under Executive Orders regarding regulatory impact analysis and as required by a court ruling, the U.S. government has since 2008 used estimates of the SC-CO2 in federal rulemakings to value the costs and benefits associated with changes in CO2 emissions. In 2010, the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (IWG) developed a methodology for estimating the SC-CO2 across a range of assumptions about future socioeconomic and physical earth systems.

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Economic effects of ocean acidification: Publication patterns and directions for future research

Human societies derive economic benefit from marine systems, yet these benefits may be modified as humans drive environmental change. Here, we conducted the first systematic review of literature on the potential economic effects of ocean acidification. We identified that while there is a growing literature discussing this topic, assessments of the direction and magnitude of anticipated economic change remain limited. The few assessments which have been conducted indicate largely negative economic effects of ocean acidification. Insights are, however, limited as the scope of the studies remains restricted. We propose that understanding of this topic will benefit from using standard approaches (e.g. timescales and emissions scenarios) to consider an increasing range of species/habitats and ecosystem services over a range of spatial scales. The resulting understanding could inform decisions such that we maintain, or enhance, economic services obtained from future marine environments.

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Research on the sensitivity of the marine industry to climate change

Marine economic activities are mostly carried out in coastal zones with the most fragile ecological environment. (…)

(…) this paper develops an evaluation system for sensitivity coefficient by by quantifying specific indicators and finally confirms the sensitivity of different marine industries to climate change. The evaluation reveals that the salt marine industry is the most vulnerable to climate change followed by marine transportation, fishery, mining, shipbuilding, and coastal tourism. (…)

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book