What lurks below the surface? Exploring the caveats of sea level rise economic impact assessments

Scott Victor Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws insights from multi-disciplinary research into sea level rise (SLR) in order to identify and critically evaluate the impact that assumptions underpinning SLR projections, damage assessment, and economic valuation have on the predictive accuracy of SLR economic impact assessments. The analysis demonstrates that economic models of SLR impact are, in the best case, guesstimates based on inexact data, and in the worst case, misleading works of politically infused fiction. In order to extract value from such studies and “speak truth to power”, it is essential that critical assumptions associated with data that goes into the construct of such models are transparently disclosed to allow users of such assessments to fully understand the limitations to the modeling exercise and the inherent risks that may undermine the verity of projected outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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