The coastal area, 225,547 km2 wide, includes the eastern coast of Baja California and the northwest shoreline of Mexico. Its population is moderately large (medium risk) 30% of which lives in rural areas. Population size is projected to decrease by a million in 2100, a density of 27 persons per km2 in 2010 decreasing to 22 persons per km2 in 2100.
The indigent population makes up 49% of the LME’s coastal dwellers. This LME places in the highest-risk category based on percentage of poor and among those with medium risk category using absolute number of poor at nearly 3 million (present day estimate).
Revenues and Spatial Wealth Distribution:
Fishing and tourism depend on ecosystem services provided by LMEs
. The Gulf of California LME ranks in the low revenue category in fishing revenues based on yearly average total ex-vessel price of US 2013 $206 million for the period 2001-2010. Fish protein accounts for 8% of the total animal protein consumption of the coastal population. Its yearly average tourism revenue for 2004-2013 of US 2013 $12.9 billion places it in the low revenue category. On average, LME-based tourism income contributes 14% to the national GDPs of the LME coastal states Spatial distribution of economic activity (e.g. spatial wealth distribution) measured by night-light and population distribution as coarse proxies can range from 0.0000 (totally equal distribution and lowest risk) to 1.0000 (concentrated in 1 place and most inequitable and highest risk). The Night Light Development Index (NLDI) thus indicates the level of spatial economic development, and that for the Gulf of California LME falls in the category with medium risk.
Human Development Index:
Using the Human Development Index (HDI) that integrates measures of health, education and income, the present-day Gulf of California LME HDI belongs to the average HDI and medium risk category. Based on present-day HDI of 0.750, this LME has an HDI Gap of 0.250, the difference between contemporary and highest possible HDI (1.000). The HDI Gap measures an overall vulnerability to external events such as disease or extreme climate related events, due to less than perfect health, education, and income levels, and is independent of the harshness of and exposure to specific external shocks.
HDI values are projected to the year 2100 in the contexts of shared socioeconomic development pathways (SSPs). The Gulf of California LME is projected to increase its HDI to the very high category with the lowest risk in 2100 under a sustainable development pathway or scenario. Under a fragmented world scenario, this LME is projected to slip to the highest risk category (very low HDI) because of reduced income level and bigger population size compared to estimated income and population values in a sustainable development pathway.
Climate-Related Threat Indices:
The Climate-Related Threat Indices utilize the HDI Gaps for present-day and projected 2100 scenarios. The contemporary climate index accounts for deaths and property losses due to storms, flooding and extreme temperatures incurred by coastal states during a 20-year period from 1994 to 2013 as hazard measures, the 2010 coastal population as proxy for exposure, and the present day HDI Gap as vulnerability measure.
The Contemporary Threat Index incorporates a Dependence Factor based on the fish protein contribution to dietary animal protein, and on the mean contribution of LME tourism to the national GDPs of LME coastal states. The HDI Gap and the degree of dependence on LME ecosystem services define the vulnerability of a coastal population. It also includes the average of risk related to extreme climate events, and the risk based on the degrading system states of an LME (e.g. overexploited fisheries, pollution levels, decrease in coastal ecosystem areas).
The 2100 sea level rise threat indices, each computed for the sustainable world and fragmented world development pathways, use the maximum projected sea level rise at the highest level of warming of 8.5 W/m2 in 2100 as hazard measure, development pathway-specific 2100 populations in the 10 m × 10 km coast as exposure metrics, and development pathway-specific 2100 HDI Gaps as vulnerability estimates.
Present day climate threat index to the Gulf of California LME is in the high risk category. The combined contemporaneous risk due to extreme climate events, degrading LME states and the level of vulnerability of the coastal population, is high. In a sustainable development scenario, the threat index for sea level rise in 2100 is in the lowest risk category, and which increases to medium risk under a fragmented world development pathway.