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Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Environments: Modeling Challenges for Resource and Environmental Economists

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  • Sathya Gopalakrishnan
  • Craig E Landry
  • Martin D Smith

Abstract

Analysis of coastal climate change adaptation requires combining environmental and resource economics with other disciplines. Sea level rise, ocean warming and acidification, and increased storminess threaten to alter or intensify biophysical coastal changes. Communities respond in ways that neither maximize total economic value nor apply the appropriate spatial scale of policy response. Focusing on coastline change, particularly in North Carolina, we synthesize modeling approaches and empirical studies to identify research that is needed to support coastal climate adaptation policy. Modeling coastlines as coupled human–natural systems explains historical patterns of coastline change, clarifies the need for empirical estimates, and provides a roadmap for interdisciplinary policy analysis. Despite the extensive literature on coastal amenities, hazards, and ex post policy evaluation, more empirical information is needed to parameterize coupled models of complex coastal environments facing climate change. Extending coupled models of coastal adaptation to incorporate spatial dynamics and market and nonmarket values highlights fundamental problems with current governance structures. We conclude that to maximize total economic value in the coastal zone, adaptation will require governance coordination across multiple levels, attention to intensive and extensive margins of adaptation, and trade-offs across market and nonmarket values. These findings echo recent advances in fisheries bioeconomics.

Suggested Citation

  • Sathya Gopalakrishnan & Craig E Landry & Martin D Smith, 2018. "Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Environments: Modeling Challenges for Resource and Environmental Economists," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 48-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:12:y:2018:i:1:p:48-68.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/reep/rex020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward B. Barbier, 2012. "Progress and Challenges in Valuing Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Services," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19.
    2. Ajita Atreya & Susana Ferreira & Warren Kriesel, 2013. "Forgetting the Flood? An Analysis of the Flood Risk Discount over Time," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(4), pages 577-596.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abbie A. Rogers & Fiona L. Dempster & Jacob I. Hawkins & Robert J. Johnston & Peter C. Boxall & John Rolfe & Marit E. Kragt & Michael P. Burton & David J. Pannell, 2019. "Valuing non-market economic impacts from natural hazards," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 99(2), pages 1131-1161, November.
    2. Yun Qiu & Sathya Gopalakrishnan & H. Allen Klaiber & Xiaoyu Li, 0. "Dredging the sand commons: the economic and geophysical drivers of beach nourishment," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-21.
    3. Yun Qiu & Sathya Gopalakrishnan & H. Allen Klaiber & Xiaoyu Li, 2020. "Dredging the sand commons: the economic and geophysical drivers of beach nourishment," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 363-383, September.
    4. Vinent, Orencio Duran & Johnston, Robert J. & Kirwan, Matthew L. & Leroux, Anke D. & Martin, Vance L., 2019. "Coastal dynamics and adaptation to uncertain sea level rise: Optimal portfolios for salt marsh migration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    5. Qiu, Yun & Gopalakrishnan, Sathya, 2018. "Shoreline defense against climate change and capitalized impact of beach nourishment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 134-147.

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