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Climate Research

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CR 36:259-269 (2008)  -  DOI:

Frameworks for analyzing the economic effects of climate change on outdoor recreation

W. Douglass Shaw1,*, John B. Loomis2

1Departments of Agricultural Economics and Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2124, USA
2Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1172, USA

ABSTRACT:  Climate change is increasingly recognized as a major factor that may influence the recreational use of outdoor environments. Despite awareness of the pervasive effects of climate change, its effects on outdoor recreation have only recently been studied in detail. In this study we consider an economic framework that allows the modeling of the direct and indirect effects of climate change on users of recreation resources, via the impacts on natural resources upon which outdoor recreation depends. We also present a brief summary of selected empirical results bearing on climate-sensitive recreational activities. With the relatively small increases in temperature that are likely from near-term climate change, the number of people partaking in certain outdoor recreational activities—such as boating, golfing and beach recreation—is expected to increase by 14 to 36%. Numbers partaking in other activities—most notably snow sports like skiing—will likely fall. We discuss critical areas of future research that are needed to provide more detailed estimates of changes in recreation activities (along with associated economic effects) that are likely to arise from climate change in the future.

KEY WORDS:Recreation · Tourism · Economics · Climate change

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Cite this article as: Shaw WD, Loomis JB (2008) Frameworks for analyzing the economic effects of climate change on outdoor recreation. Clim Res 36:259-269.

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