Recently completed PhD: Stephen Flood

We are delighted to note that Stephen Flood recently completed his PhD, titled ‘Climate Change and Potential Economic Impacts in Ireland: The Case for Adaptation.’ This is his abstract:

This thesis explores a number of key economic impacts associated with climate change in Ireland. It begins by examining the idea of climate change as a so called “wicked problem”, and in turn investigates uncertainty, the importance of ethics in economic valuation, and the complexities associated with creating economic assessments, formulating policy and carrying out appropriate action. Drawing on sustainability science the terms resilience, vulnerability and adaptive capacity are also discussed, defined and engaged with.

Key results, associated with both potential climate impact and adaptation costs, are presented from global and regional integrated assessment models and in turn vulnerable Irish sectors are uncovered. The following bottom-up approach explores key vulnerabilities in Ireland in the areas of coastal exposure, wetland vulnerability and inland flooding. Digital Terrain Modelling is used in conjunction with a range of datasets to examine vulnerabilities relating to coastal land, commercial and residential property addresses, insurance claim costs, as well as wetland and species vulnerability. It should be noted that the results presented are cognisant of the limitations of monetary evaluation alone as a measure of potential climate impacts. The bottom up approach has the added advantage of providing geographically distributed impacts in discrete sectors as apposed to the often highly aggregated regional Integrated Assessment Modelling approach.

Finally, the implications of these results for decision-making in relation to adaptation planning are discussed, along with avenues for potential future work.

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