Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 813–839 | Cite as

Physical and Economic Consequences of Sea-Level Rise: A Coupled GIS and CGE Analysis Under Uncertainties

  • Santosh R. JoshiEmail author
  • Marc Vielle
  • Frédéric Babonneau
  • Neil R. Edwards
  • Philip B. Holden


This paper develops a modelling framework that links GEMINI-E3, a multi-regional, multi-sectoral computable general equilibrium model with a cost-benefit analysis approach at local level using geographical information system tools to assess the physical and economic consequences of sea-level rise (SLR) in the twenty first century. A set of future scenarios is developed spanning the uncertainties related to global warming, the parameters of semi-empirical SLR estimates, and coastal developments (cropland, urban areas and population). The importance of incorporating uncertainties regarding coastal development is highlighted. The simulation results suggest that the potential development of future coastal areas is a greater source of uncertainty than the parameters of SLR itself in terms of the economic consequences of SLR. At global level, the economic impact of SLR could be significant when loss of productive land along with loss of capital and forced displacement of populations are considered. Furthermore, highly urbanised and densely populated coastal areas of South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand are likely to suffer significantly if no protective measures are taken. Hence, it is suggested that coastal areas needs to be protected to ameliorate the overall welfare cost across various regions.


Climate change Sea-level rise GIS Computable general equilibrium model Coastal impacts Uncertainty Adaptation 

JEL Classification

C68 D58 Q54 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the EU Seventh Framework Programme (ERMITAGE FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement no265170. The third author is also funded by the Qatar National Research Fund under Grant Agreement no6-1035-5-126. We would like to thank Stefan Rahmstorf and Richard S. J. Tol for their suggestions. We would also like to thank Florent Baume for his assistance in GIS analysis. Three anonymous reviewers are also gratefully thanked for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Santosh R. Joshi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marc Vielle
    • 3
  • Frédéric Babonneau
    • 3
    • 4
  • Neil R. Edwards
    • 5
  • Philip B. Holden
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental and Resource EconomicsUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business and EconomicsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Economics (LEURE)École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), EPFL ENAC INTER REMELausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.ORDECSYS SARLChêne-BougeriesSwitzerland
  5. 5.Environment, Earth and EcosystemsOpen UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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