Adapting Climate Change Projections to Pacific Maritime Supply Chains

Jack Dyer

Introduction and Contribution to Literature

According to UNCTAD (2014), over 90% of the world’s trade is seaborne; based on the global connections of seaports, vessels, maritime economic hinterlands and their interconnecting supply chains. Global climate change is considered to provide the most significant threat to maritime supply chains from an increasing majority of stakeholders, who favour climate change adaptation including the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) (2013), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) (2015), Australian Bureau of Meteorology (2015) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2015). One related theoretical gap identified in this paper as a research point of departure from assessing academic research such as Regmi and Hanaoka (2009), Knapp et al. (2011), Becker et al. (2011) and Kong et al. (2013), is how comparatively little is known about the potential impact of climate change on maritime supply chains (Bojinski et al. 2014; Thomas et al. 2013). This paper identifies a significant constraint to maritime supply chain adaptation for dependent stakeholders in existing research literature, includes the substantial risk of uncertainty. Types of uncertainty includes diverse methodologies, risks identified, impact costs, underlying assumptions and response strategy solutions based on various climate change risks, whether modelling climate change for river basin flooding planning (Hansen 2013), food security in the Philippines, (Carandang et al. (2015)) or harvest disruption risks in the Australian sugar industry (Sexton et al. 2015) as current literature gaps.

Pacific Climate Change Symposium Revised Paper Submission 02.

J. Dyer (H)

University of Tasmania, Maritime Way, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 199

W. Leal Filho (ed.), Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries,

Climate Change Management, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-50094-2_12

A further gap in contemporary literature includes asymmetrical information over the exact effects of climate change complicates proposed adaptation solutions for vulnerable stakeholders experiencing the pressures and constraints of small developing nation states including tropical Pacific Ocean, sovereign islands and dependent territories. Currently stakeholders require significant time, financial and other resources to investigate potential specific climate change data scenario assumptions/impact costs, risks and consequences that directly affect them. These stakeholders wary of maladaptation costs from asymmetrical information over issues of timing, intensity and actual consequences and perceptions of scientific uncertainty, are often risk averse in pursuing a response to the ultimate survival threat of climate change. Yet this paper’s response to these stakeholder challenges is to propose a Pacific Climate Futures tool with climate change projections, along with screening criteria to improve the reliability of projections for climate change impact studies.

This paper contrasts from previous climate change impact studies such as Marra (2014), which argue that a significant constraint to supply chain stakeholder adaptation consists of insufficient or inconsistent information. Therefore, models and methodologies continue to require even more research before any adaptation action can be undertaken. Previous studies e.g. Simpson et al. (2007) and Walsh et al. (2013) have indicated this as a recurrent stakeholder concern, arguing that scientific climate change projections, underlying data and research serves no purpose if it conflicts between different authorities and is overly technically complex. In contrast, this paper advocates the IPCC (2015) report contains the globally most reliable, consistent, accessible, cost effective approach to forecasting climate change with the most robust estimates and accepted by a majority of nations with internationally more reputable and accurate scientific resources. This paper aims to simplify technical, IPCC climate change projections so that they can be downscaled to maritime supply chains. Each projection and underlying assumption has been ascertained for consistency and reliability with leading established scientific institutions, individuals, research sources, meteorological agencies and empirical observations from the Pacific, accepted and utilised by SPREP (2014), Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (2012), and SPC (2015), the most frequently cited and significantly active organisations concentrating on Pacific climate change.

This tool could assist Pacific supply chain stakeholders to minimise maladap- tation costs, identify and prioritise risks and implement adaptation solutions. It aims to reduce factors of uncertainty that prompt moral hazard and inertia by potentially affected stakeholders, frequently cited by existing literature. Therefore this paper’s conceptual contribution to the gap in existing literature will be to propose an online tool and screening criteria (section “Implications for Maritime Supply Chains”) that academics and Pacific maritime supply chain stakeholders can utilise to effectively evaluate diverse Pacific climate change scenarios, methodologies and adaptation solutions at minimal opportunity cost to improve upon existing climate change projection methods i.e. the simulation modelling proposed in Lutz et al. (2013) for southern Africa. This paper’s method simulates Pacific climate change scenarios with underlying assumptions and screening criteria that can be applied generically to climate change impact studies. Its data collection instrument relies on the IPCC (2015), Australia Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (2014) with consistent observations but aims to be sufficiently applicable to any generic tool or method meant to ascertain the reliability of climate change projections. It aims to do so through providing certain global and Pacific climate change projections (section “Pacific Climate Change Projections and Scenario Assumptions”) and evaluating implications for maritime supply chain stakeholders (section “Climate Change Implications for Pacific Maritime Supply Chains”). This paper’s conceptual contribution to established literature could potentially extend to identifying potential vulnerability-risk assessments in climate change impact studies such as Metternicht et al. (2014) or to improve data information available for stakeholder’s perceptions and preparations for climate change as in Nagy et al. (2014) for coastal Uruguay.

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