Climate change and U.S.-Mexico border communities

Margaret Wilder, Gregg Garfin, Paul Ganster, Hallie Eakin, Patricia Romero-Lankao, Francisco Lara-Valencia, Alfonso A. Cortez-Lara, Stephen Mumme, Carolina Neri, Francisco Muñoz-Arriola, Robert G. Varady

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

41 Scopus citations


This chapter examines climate-related vulnerability in the western portion of the U.S.- Mexico border region from the Pacific coast of California-Baja California to El Paso-Ciudad Juárez, focusing primarily on border counties in the United States and municipalities in Mexico. Beginning with a brief overview of projected climate changes for the region, the chapter analyzes the demographic, socioeconomic, institutional, and other drivers of climate-related vulnerability, and the potential impacts of climate change across multiple sectors (e.g., water, agriculture and ranching, and biodiverse ecosystems). The border region has higher poverty, water insecurity, substandard housing, and lack of urban planning relative to the rest of the United States, and multiple socioeconomic asymmetries exist between the U.S. and Mexico sides of the border. These asymmetries create challenges for governance, planning, effective communication of climate-related risks, and design of adaptation strategies. Although they represent an important part of the picture, a comprehensive assessment of regional adaptation strategies was not within the scope of the chapter. The chapter highlights the following key findings relating to climate change and socioeconomic and cultural diversity, water, wetlands ecosystems, and institutions and governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAssessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States
Subtitle of host publicationA Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment
PublisherIsland Press-Center for Resource Economics
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9781610914840
ISBN (Print)9781597264204
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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