Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Paul Chinowsky

Second Advisor

Len Wright

Abstract

The Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change (EACC) was initiated by The World Bank to develop a more precise global estimate of the costs to adapt to climate change. The EACC study was designed to help developing countries, which are the most vulnerable to climate change, better understand and assess strategies to deal with the affects of climate change. In order to quantitatively estimate the costs of adapting to climate change, engineer-based models were developed that estimate the impact of climate stressors. This paper focuses on the stressor-response function dealing with roads in Africa. African countries are especially vulnerable to long-term disasters, such as droughts, sea coast change and flooding frequency. These climate change impacts have a significant emotional, economic and social toll on communities. The limited infrastructure of African countries makes each road a valuable asset. This paper attempts to identify the African countries that have the highest value roads. Also, building on previous research done by Paul Chinowsky, costs associated with climate change for African countries are compiled and the cost savings adaptation can create for each country are evaluated. From this data, African countries that are highly burdened by climate change costs are identified. Finally, countries that benefit the most from adaptation are identified. Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Niger and Mali are countries with low road densities. Chad, Malawi, Niger and Mozambique are highly impacted by the costs of climate change. Malawi, Lesotho and Mozambique have the most to gain from adaptation. Policy makers can use the data compiled in this report to better prepare roads for climate change. The positive changes these mitigation efforts can create will alleviate the social and economic impacts climate change has the potential to cause.

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