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  • Cited by 21
  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: October 2009

11 - Estimated effects of climate change on selected outdoor recreation activities in the United States


Most previous published estimates of the economic costs of climate change (i.e. changes in temperature and precipitation) have given little attention to the effects on outdoor recreation. Nordhaus has not included any estimates of effects of climate change on recreation or recreationally used natural resources (Nordhaus, 1991, 1993). The National Academy of Sciences (1992 pp. 607–8) devotes only about two pages out of 900 to the issue. However, they indicate that outdoor recreation is more sensitive to climate change than other sectors of the economy due to recreation's close link to natural resources (National Academy of Sciences, 1992 p. 41). Ewert (1991 p. 366) also states that with respect to the effect of global climate change on recreation “… outdoor recreation is an example in which users have a direct interaction with the natural environment…” Cline (1992 pp. 122–3) includes only a rough estimate of the effect of climate change on snowskiing in his category of leisure activities. Even Fankhauser's recent book (1995) provides only a one paragraph discussion of recreation before concluding that “Unfortunately, data for monetary valuation are not available for either sector” (1995 p. 43). Fankhauser goes on to say “Nevertheless, the problem of greenhouse damage estimates is perhaps not so much the accuracy of the valuation methods as such, but the fact they have not yet been applied to the problem to a sufficient degree” (1995 p. 21).