Economic costs of ocean acidification: a look into the impacts on global shellfish production
- 2.8k Downloads
Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a major global problem. Yet economic assessments of its effects are currently almost absent. Unlike most other marine organisms, mollusks, which have significant commercial value worldwide, have relatively solid scientific evidence of biological impact of acidification and allow us to make such an economic evaluation. By performing a partial-equilibrium analysis, we estimate global and regional economic costs of production loss of mollusks due to ocean acidification. Our results show that the costs for the world as a whole could be over 100 billion USD with an assumption of increasing demand of mollusks with expected income growths combined with a business-as-usual emission trend towards the year 2100. The major determinants of cost levels are the impacts on the Chinese production, which is dominant in the world, and the expected demand increase of mollusks in today’s developing countries, which include China, in accordance with their future income rise. Our results have direct implications for climate policy. Because the ocean acidifies faster than the atmosphere warms, the acidification effects on mollusks would raise the social cost of carbon more strongly than the estimated damage adds to the damage costs of climate change.
KeywordsMollusk Consumer Surplus Ocean Acidification Bivalve Mollusk Marine Mollusk
We are grateful to Frank Melzner from IFM-Geomar for helpful comments and to Siwa Msangi for the provision of IMPACT parameterization data. Alvaro Calzadilla offered us valuable suggestions on GDP projections. We thank Hanno Heitmann, Niko Mehl and Andreas Bernetzeder for research assistance, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful suggestions. Financial support by the German Research Foundation (the “Future Ocean” Cluster of Excellence program) is gratefully acknowledged.
- Brander L, Rehdanz K, Tol R, van Beukering P (2009) The economic impact of ocean acidification on coral reefs. ESRI Working Paper 282. Economic and Social Research Institute, DublinGoogle Scholar
- Delgado CL, Wada N, Rosegrant MW, Meijer S, Ahmed M (2003) Fish to 2020: Supply and Demand in Changing Global Markets. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C., and WorldFish Center, Penang, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
- Dey, MM. et al. (2008) Strategies and options for increasing and sustaining fisheries and aquaculture production to benefit poorer households in Asia. WorldFish Center Studies and Reviews No. 1823. The WorldFish Center, Penang, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2008) FAO Yearbook 2006: Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2010) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
- IPCC, 2001. IPCC Third Assessment Report.Google Scholar
- Nordhaus W (2008) A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies. Yale University Press, New Haven, CTGoogle Scholar
- Pillay TVR, Kutty MN (2005) Aquaculture: Principles and Practices, 2nd edn. Blackwell Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Stern N (2006) The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Thomsen J, Gutowska MA, Saphörster J, Heinemann A, Fietzke J, Hiebenthal C, Eisenhauer A, Körtzinger A, Wahl M, Melzner F (2010) Calcifying invertebrates succeed in a naturally CO2 enriched coastal habitat but are threatened by high levels of future acidification. Biogeosciences 7:3879–3891CrossRefGoogle Scholar