Economic implications of potential ENSO frequency and strength shifts
Chen, Chi Chung
McCarl, Bruce A.
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This paper evaluates the economic consequences that would occur in the agricultural sector if the strength and frequency of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event would increase, which some researchers suggest could occur as a result of global climate change. The agricultural sector model applied by the authors predicted that a shift in only the frequency of ENSO events would cause damages to the global agricultural system on a scale of 3 to 4 hundred million dollars (U.S. currency). The damage caused if both strength and frequency and intensity increase could exceed one billion dollars. Although farmers can abate some of the damages through adaptions of crop mixes in anticipation of ENSO events, it is not possible to entirely offset losses.