Global Environmental Change in Alpine Regions

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Global Environmental Change in Alpine Regions

Recognition, Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation

9781843761839 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Karl W. Steininger, Professor of Economics, Wegener Center, University of Graz, Austria and Hannelore Weck-Hannemann, Professor of Economics, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Publication Date: 2002 ISBN: 978 1 84376 183 9 Extent: 296 pp
Mountain regions represent about one fourth of the earth’s surface area and provide a significant share of goods and services to humanity. In this book, the authors demonstrate how alpine environments throughout the world are particularly vulnerable to global environmental change. Alpine populations will often be affected earliest and most significantly, for example through extreme weather systems, and their scope for adaptation is relatively limited. Drawing on the natural and social sciences, particularly economics, this book supplies a broad picture of the diverse issues involved.

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Critical Acclaim
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Mountain regions represent about one fourth of the earth’s surface area and provide a significant share of goods and services to humanity. In this book, the authors demonstrate how alpine environments throughout the world are particularly vulnerable to global environmental change. Alpine populations will often be affected earliest and most significantly, for example through extreme weather systems, and their scope for adaptation is relatively limited. Drawing on the natural and social sciences, particularly economics, this book supplies a broad picture of the diverse issues involved.

The authors show that observed changes in natural phenomena, such as acidity and fish toxicity in high altitude lakes, clearly support the thesis on ongoing global change induced by humans. They then analyse the manifold socio-economic impacts of global environmental change which are likely to be felt in various sectors and industries including tourism, insurance and water cycle management. It is shown that adaptation options though limited can be improved, such as in natural hazard management. Finally the authors evaluate the various mitigation options available for policymakers in agriculture, energy production, transport and land use planning.

Global Environmental Change in Alpine Regions demonstrates that although environmental change is a global phenomenon, the impacts are distributed unevenly and vary in severity. This book will be required reading for all students and scholars of environmental and resource economics, public management and policy.
Critical Acclaim
‘I found this a very interesting book. It is an excellent case study of the potential effects of climate change in an environmentally sensitive area. By focusing on a specific region and providing a fine-grained analysis that cuts across a variety of disciplines in the natural, physical and social sciences, it offers an illuminating and insightful assessment of how climate change might affect the society, economy and ecology of this region and what policies might be adopted to foster beneficial adaptations and mitigate adverse impacts.’
– Michael Hanemann, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘This volume innovatively bridges the gaps between disciplines to successfully present integrated and comprehensive research results covering the natural impact of and social adaptation and reaction to environmental change. In investigating mountainous regions, where the impacts of global change can be felt earlier and more significantly, it is core reading for global change researchers and policy advisors.’
– Georg Grabherr, Chairman of the Network for Alpine Biodiversity Research, European
Science Foundation, Chair of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments and Professor of Ecology and Conservation Biology, University of Vienna, Austria

‘Global Environmental Change in Alpine Regions demonstrates why environmental assessments should be done by ecological regions rather than along political boundaries and provides a sobering assessment of the interconnected environmental changes and uncertainties ahead. In the face of uncertain interconnected change, these researchers humbly forego the optimization techniques they were taught in graduate school and stress monitoring, learning, and adaptive management. They establish a high standard for analyses of other regions.’
– Richard B. Norgaard, Past President, International Society for Ecological Economics and
Professor of Energy and Resources, University of California at Berkeley, USA
Contributors
Contributors: W.J. Ammann, B. Chateau, B. Friedl, A. Frondaroli, M. Keller, A. Kleissner, D. Kroemker, T. Loster, R. Madlener, G. Meissl, R. Molitor, H.-J. Mosler, M. Payer, A. Ploner, R. Psenner, S.P. Schleicher, T. Soenser, K.C. Steininger, K.W. Steininger, V. Stoeckli, J. Stoetter, W. Sulzer, H. Weck-Hannemann, G. Weiss, N. Wohlgemuth
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction and Overview Part I: Recognition 2. Alpine Waters in the Interplay of Global Change: Complex Links – Simple Effects? 3. On the Economics of Climate Change and the Climate Change of Economics Part II: Impact 4. Economic Consequences of Climate Change in Alpine Regions: Impact and Mitigation 5. Climate Change and its Impact on the Insurance Industry Part III: Adaptation 6. Human Vulnerability – Factors Influencing the Implementation of Prevention and Protection Measures: An Agent-based Approach 7. Developments in Natural Hazard Management in Alpine Countries Facing Global Environmental Change 8. The Political Practice of Natural Hazards Control in Austria and the Question of Climate Change 9. Climatological Research and its Possible Contribution to Regional Planning in an Alpine Environment Part IV: Mitigation 10. The Role of Alpine Agriculture and Forestry in Climate Change Mitigation – A Scenario Analysis 11. Climate Change Mitigation in the Alps by Means of Renewable Energy Use: The Austrian Province of Carinthia as an Illustration 12. Reducing the Global and Local Environment Impact of Transport in the Alpine Region 13.Conclusions and Future Research Prospects Index

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