Potential Economic Loss: Hawaii: 1.1-ft Sea Level Rise Scenario

Vulnerability was assessed for the main Hawaiian Islands using the outputs of coastal hazard exposure modeling (provided separately). Potential economic loss was based on the value of the land and structures from the county tax parcel database permanently lost in the sea level rise exposure area (SLR-XA) for four future sea level rise scenarios: 0.5 foot, 1.1 foot, 2.0 feet and 3.2 feet based on the upper end of the IPCC AR5 RCP8.5 projections. This particular layer depicts potential economic loss using the 1.1-ft (0.3224-m) sea level rise scenario. While the RCP8.5 predicts that this scenario would be reached by the year 2050, questions remain around the exact timing of sea level rise and recent observations and projections suggest a sooner arrival.

Potential economic loss was analyzed individually for each hazard (passive flooding, annual high wave flooding, or coastal erosion) at the parcel level and subsequently aggregated in 1-hectare (100 square meter or 1,076 square foot) grids. For the islands of Hawaii, Lanai, and Molokai, the potential economic loss was based solely on passive flooding. Potential economic loss in the SLR-XA area was determined from the highest loss value of any one hazard within the 1-hectare grid, thus avoiding double counting a loss of a particular asset from multiple hazards. Those maximum values for each sector are then summed to determine the total economic loss to property in each grid.

Assumptions and Limitations: The vulnerability assessment addressed exposure to chronic flooding with sea level rise. Key assumptions of the economic analysis for the SLR-XA included: (a) loss is permanent; (b) economic loss is based on the value in U.S. dollars in 2016 as property values in the future are unknown; (c) economic loss is based on the value of the land and structures exposed to flooding in the SLR-XA excluding the contents of the property and does not include the economic loss or cost to replace roads, water conveyance systems and other critical infrastructure; and (d) no adaptation measures are put in place that could reduce impacts in the SLR-XA.

Economic value data were not available for length of roads, water and wastewater lines, and other public infrastructure due to the variable cost of such infrastructure depending on location, and the complexity and uncertainty involved in design, siting, and construction. Additionally, environmental assets such as beaches and wetlands were not assessed economically due to the complexity in valuing ecosystem services. The loss of both public infrastructure and environmental assets from flooding would result in significant economic loss. Therefore, the total potential economic loss figures estimated in these data are likely an underestimate.

For further information, please see the Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report: http://climateadaptation.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SLR-Report_Dec2017.pdf

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Last Updated September 19, 2019, 15:16
Created September 19, 2019, 15:16
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