Climate Change Implications for Pacific Maritime Supply Chains
Apart from specific Pacific nations whose physical, economic and environmental survival prospects are threatened under all three projected scenarios, global and regional maritime supply chain stakeholders may have to adapt to a world where low altitude countries, ports, populations, infrastructure, resources and coastlines experience substantial gradual and sudden, climate change related disruption risk shocks. Thorpe and Fennel (2012) conclude sufficient consensus exists over climate change, for these stakeholders to adapt even where various climate change models provide a range of confidence intervals, projected risk, impact costs and solutions. This paper’s method includes climate change projections to assist adaptation strategies and in response to the following stakeholder concerns expressed as existing literature weaknesses or possible directions for future research, which can be applied to various climate change impact studies’ data gathering, instruments, methods and observations.
This paper’s proposed method of hypothetical scenarios and screening criteria as a theoretical study, aims to assist maritime supply chain stakeholders in identifying potential climate change risks in response to the gaps identified by existing literature. Savonis and Potter (2012) argue for transparent data that allows the potential uncertainty of both climate change disruption risks and increased information on the likelihood/extent of extreme climate change, related disaster events as possible risks. Kinrade and Justus (2006) argue for higher existing data model resolutions to enhance accuracy and that a flaw of most global circulation models is that they fail to consider localised/sub-regional projected impacts of climate change. Inoue (2012) in reviewing existing IAPH preparations for climate change; considers a lack of climate change projection studies exists globally, which concentrate on localised coastal areas, ports and maritime supply chains. Koshy (2008), Becker et al. (2011), Kramer et al. (2013) and Asian Development Bank (2013) further indicate the dearth of localised climate change projections and models in existing climate change and supply studies chains that consider localised interdependent environment- ocean-land-atmosphere climate change factor; to ascertain an inventory of exposed coastal assets/supply chain vulnerabilities. This paper therefore suggests that supply chain stakeholders would benefit from more representative studies utilising climate change projections for specific regions, islands and maritime supply chain case studies, to identify and minimise potential risks, impact costs and adaptation solutions more accurately.
Beerman (2010), CSR Asia (2011) and BSR (2014) present an emergent supply chain stakeholder requirement for more specific/localised climate change, practical projections, to identify specific risks, impact costs and opportunities for individual maritime supply chain stages including businesses (SPREP and CSIRO 2011; Wallingford 2014). A lack of global studies that specifically focus on private sector climate change adaptation rather than for governments and local communities is further criticised by Aggarwal et al. (2011) in reviewing private sector, climate change, supply chain adaptation for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. From reviewing Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (2013), this paper identifies accurate projections might further incentivise private sector funding of enhanced supply chain resilience and other potential adaptation solutions, especially for Pacific nations with limited government revenue funding, through situational awareness and accurate information. Simpson et al. (2007) points out stakeholder moral hazard as a reluctance to invest in supply chain adaptation without more certain information, in considering specific sea level rise at local level. As a method, accurate, detailed projections can further aid potential and subsequent impact damage cost estimation and the replacement value of various Pacific ocean/island ecosystems. Providing specific global, regional and local climate change projections can also assist stakeholders to determine the relationships between key climate change variables and maritime supply chain stages to minimise opportunity, disruption, delay, externality and maladaptation costs for anticipated climate change, impact events. This paper however, identifies a significant constraint to implementing supply chain stakeholder adaptation solutions, is that most supply chain business planning horizons are short term: perhaps 1, 5 even 10 years, whereas current change reviews such as Garnaut (2008), Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (2014) and IPCC (2015), envision 100 years for projected climate change.
Although past research studies including Australia Government Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (2014), SPREP (2014) and IPCC (2015), have provided global climate change projections; an increasing number of sources have realised the inadequacy of global general circulation models whose baseline data and satellite observations range in cells 70-200 km2 wide. This complicates identifying specific climate change risks, plus associated impact costs for maritime supply chain stakeholders seeking information at the Pacific regional and individual island scale. This section aims to improve its significance and value to maritime supply chain stakeholders for the Pacific region and globally, through projecting and downscaling potential climate change effects to a Pacific regional model. To satisfy the screening criteria summarised in 1.2, this section utilises the projections and field observations of the main Pacific political, economic, academic and environmentalist/community organisations such as SPC, USP, SPREP, AOSIS, SOPAC, individual governments, the UNDP, Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives and World Bank. Downscaling becomes more practical with improved data quality/accuracy over a longer time period using the 2014 completed Pacific Climate Change Futures projection tool to model potential climate change scenarios for the main gradual, climate change disruption risks for individual Pacific nations and interdependent maritime supply chain stakeholders. This identifies projected specific Pacific Ocean and climate hazards that might potentially be affected by climate change along with further potential implications for maritime supply chains to reduce potential stakeholder uncertainty, moral hazard, risk aversion, asymmetrical information and maladaptation costs (Fig. 12.6).
Based on the sources cited above and references; Pacific regional climate change is projected to include an increase in heatwaves. The recurrence intervals of temperature maximum days are expected to increase. PACCAP (2014) observed since 1951, the number of temperature days exceeding 35 °C has increased from an average of 20 to 45-80 across the Pacific region, increasing the probability and associated disruption supply chain costs of heatwaves/lower productivity. However, regional climate change circulation models differ from global projections primarily in emphasising the particular physical vulnerability of the Pacific to global climate change. Precipitation and other variables change over regions and specific Pacific islands based on local geophysical, climate, environment and human conditions. scale, timing, format and language. This is partially emphasised through Fig. 12.7, where projected Pacific sea level rise is likely to increase at a higher rate than the current projected global average
Fig. 12.6 Pacific regional projected mean sea level rise. Source Australia Government Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (2014), p. 10
of 3.2 mm per year from 3-5 mm per year in the Cook Islands to an average 4-7 mm for most Pacific nations up to 9-12 mm per year for the Solomon Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. Regional sea level rise is influenced by Pacific ocean dynamics including the regional mass distribution of Earth’s crust but also currents, localised surface winds, changes in salinity, bottom pressure, and sea surface temperature, which could alter through climate change (Fletcher and Richmond 2010; Hemer et al. 2011, Mori et al. 2013). From 1900 to 2000 average ocean surface temperatures rose 0.7 °C in the tropical Pacific Ocean from global climate change. The Pacific has increased its potential capacity to forecast regional sea level rise and temperature through aid agencies prioritising information through 12 stations of the Australian funded South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (Australia Government Bureau of Meteorology 2015). Higher projected rates of sea level rise increase the predicted probability offlooding, increased wave energy, sedimentation, eroding existing coastal and engineering protection and other gradual climate change disruption risks. These further indicate the need to prioritise adaptation solutions to minimise potential risks to the future of Pacific maritime supply chains, wherever practically possible.
Projected Pacific regional climate change may further affect maritime supply chains and stakeholders through Pacific regional climate change influences (Fig. 12.8), including the South Pacific, West Pacific Monsoon and Intertropical Convergence Zone. Subtropical high pressure zones are indicated by H, yellow arrows indicate surface winds. Moser et al. (2012), Australia Government Bureau of Meteorology (2015) and IPCC (2015) project minimal variations to these influences, regulating climate variability over decades rather than climate change, apart from a slight increase in average wet season/reduction in low season precipitation.
Fig. 12.7 Pacific regional climate change influences. Source Australia Government Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (2014), p. 4
Using CMIP5 models, these sources indicate a high probability of a reduced risk frequency of Pacific tropical zone cyclones north of 20° south latitude but an increased frequency, duration and intensity in potential disruption impact costs below this interval. Possible changes in wind may influence slightly El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Interdecadal Pacific and Pacific Decadal Oscillations, currents and cyclone formation but projection estimates remain inconsistent from observed sources (Collins 2010; Pacific Climate Change Science Programme 2013; Jia et al. 2015).