The economic impact of climate change on root crop, fisheries and vegetable production for Trinidad and Tobago under the A2 and B2 scenarios were modeled, relative to a baseline ―no climate change‖ case, where the mean temperature and rainfall for a base period of 1980 – 2000 was assumed for the years up to 2050. Production functions were used, using ARMA specifications to correct for serial autocorrelation. For the A2 scenarios, rainfall is expected to fall by approximately 10% relative to the baseline case in the 2020s, but is expected to rise thereafter, until by the 2040s rainfall rises slightly above the mean for the baseline case. For the B2 scenario, rainfall rose slightly above the mean for the baseline case in the current decade, but falls steadily thereafter to approximately 15% by the 2040s. Over the same period, temperature is expected to increase by 1.34C and 1.37C under A2 and B2 respectively.
It is expected that any further increase in rainfall should have a deleterious effect on root crop production as a whole, since the above mentioned crops represent the majority of the root crops included in the study. Further expected increases in temperature will result in the ambient temperature being very close to the optimal end of the range for most of these crops. By 2050, the value of yield cumulative losses (2008$) for root crops is expected to be approximately 248.8 million USD under the A2 scenario and approximately 239.4 million USD under the B2 scenario.
Relative to the 2005 catch for fish, there will be a decrease in catch potential of 10 - 20% by 2050 relative to 2005 catch potentials, other things remaining constant. By 2050 under the A2 and B2 scenarios, losses in real terms were estimated to be 160.2 million USD and 80.1 million USD respectively, at a 1% discount rate.
For vegetables, the mean rainfall exceeds the optimal rainfall range for sweet peppers, hot peppers and melongene. However, while the optimal rainfall level for tomatoes is 3000mm/yr, other vegetables such as sweet peppers, hot peppers and ochroes have very low rainfall requirements (as low as 300 mm/yr). Therefore it is expected that any further decrease in rainfall should have a mixed effect on individual vegetable production. It is expected that any further increase in temperature should have a mixed effect on individual vegetable production, though model results indicated that as a group, an increase in temperature should have a positive impact on vegetable production. By 2050, the value of yield cumulative gains (2008$) for vegetables is expected to be approximately 54.9 million USD under the A2 scenario and approximately 49.1 million USD under the B2 scenario, given a 1% discount rate.
For root crops, fisheries and vegetables combined, the cumulative loss under A2 is calculated as approximately 352.8 million USD and approximately 270.8 million USD under B2 by 2050. This is equivalent to 1.37% and 1.05% of the 2008 GDP under the A2 and B2 scenarios respectively by 2050.
Sea Level Rise (SLR) by 2050 is estimated to be 0.255 m under A2 and 0.215 m under B2. GIS estimation indicated that for a 0.255 m sea level rise, combined with a 0.5 m high tide, there would be no permanent inundation of agricultural land in Trinidad. The total inundation area is 1.18 km2. This occurs only in the Caroni Watershed, on the western coast of Trinidad, and the areas are outside the Caroni Swamp. Even with an additional rise of 0.5 m to simulate a high rainfall event, the estimated inundated area is 4.67 km2, but with no permanent inundation, though likely to be subject to flooding.
Based on eleven (11) evaluation criteria, the top potential adaptation options were identified:
1. Use of water saving irrigation systems and water management systems e.g. drip irrigation;
2. Mainstream climate change issues into agricultural management;
3. Repair/maintain existing dams; 4. Alter crop calendar for short-term crops;
5. Adopt improved technologies for soil conservation;
6. Establish systems of food storage;
7. Promote water conservation – install on-farm water harvesting off roof tops;
8. Design and implement holistic water management plans for all competing uses;
9. Build on- farm water storage (ponds and tanks);
10. Agricultural drainage; and
11. Installation of greenhouses.
The most attractive adaptation options, based on the Benefit-Cost Ratio are: (1) Build on- farm water storage such as ponds and tanks (2) Mainstreaming climate change issues into agricultural management and (3) Water Harvesting. However, the options with the highest net benefits are, (in order of priority): (1) Build on- farm water storage such as ponds and tanks, (2) Mainstreaming climate change issues into agricultural management and (3) Use of drip irrigation.
Based on the area burnt in Trinidad and Tobago between 2005 and 2009, the average annual loss due to fires is 1717.3 ha. At US$17.41 per carbon credit, this implies that for the total land lost to forest fires on average each year, the opportunity cost of carbon credit revenue is 74.3 million USD. If a teak reforestation programme is undertaken in Trinidad and Tobago, the net benefit of reforestation under a carbon credit programme would be 69 million USD cumulatively to 2050.