“The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Canadian Commercial Navigation on the Great Lakes” by Frank Millerd

Resource Economics Journal Article Review

The article on “The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Canadian Commercial Navigation on the Great Lakes” by Frank Millerd is an economic resource journal article. It investigates how the decreasing water levels in Great Lakes as a result of climate change affects commerce with special focus on shipping costs and cargo capacities. Over the years, the effects of greenhouse gases especially climate change has been more pronounced. Due to climate change, water level in the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River system is gradually reducing. The system is critical in transporting hundreds of tons of commodities in Canada and hence an important part of the country’s economy. With decreasing levels of water, the cost of shipping commodities has increased by as much as 29 percent while the cargo capacities of ships have decreased significantly. This could potentially lead to higher commodity prices due to increased overheard cost and low supply.

Data for the research was collected through data triangulation where data from both primary and secondary sources were compared with the view of drawing conclusions[1]. This includes historical data on the operational costs for commercial navigation and vessel capacity among others. The study used recent, current and historical data to test the hypothesis. This method of data collection was appropriate because it required huge amount of data collected over a long period of time. This would have made other methods realistically impossible. Data triangulation offered the researchers a better opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the variables they were testing. Based on the data collected, the researcher concluded that commercial navigation will be greatly affected by reducing water levels in Great Lakes as a consequent of climate change. He concludes that if climate change continues unabated effectively, the shipping costs will increase significantly while cargo capacity of commercial vessels will decrease greatly by 2050.

The journal article was also cited by Mark J. Koetse and Piet Rietveld in their 2009 research on how climate change affected transport. The researchers were primarily interested in Millerd’s findings that “the average operating costs may indeed be substantially higher” within the Great Lakes river system due to climate change[2].

Assessment of Journal Article

The economic impact of climate change is an emerging issue that many economies are increasingly facing. This research has significantly expanded knowledge on the topic and contextualized it for a specific economy: Canada. One of the strengths of Millerd’s journal article is the use numerous peer-reviewed articles to validate his claims. The article is well-referenced which gives it the much-needed credibility edge. Moreover, the references touch on both current and historical literature and information on the topic. This allows for an objective coverage of the topic. His topical approach makes the article easy to read. Each topic is tackled under well-labeled headings and subheadings which gives readers direction of the flow of the author’s ideas. The use of data triangulation during the research gives the research a broader and objective perspective which is critical in crystallizing how climate change affects Canadian economy from historical and current perspectives. This also makes it easier to make generalizations based on the research data and outcome.

The use of data triangulation also broadens the scope of the consumers of the research. This research targets a broad base of research consumers extending from the business communities to scholars and policymakers. This research is useful in linking two important variables. It highlights how climate change as a result of the greenhouse gas effect affects water levels or ecosystem in general. It then links this to economics.

Abstract of the Review

Climate change is one of the emerging issues that many economies have had to contend with over the years. This article by Frank Millerd brings to the fore the link between climate change and commerce by focusing on the Great Lakes river system. The establishment of the correlation has been achieved through data triangulation and topical and objective coverage of the topic. This topical approach makes it easier to read the article. Frank Millerd tackles an important topic that cuts across economics and geography or science. He tackled such an important topic by establishing his credibility and validity of his claims by cross-referencing his works with numerous peer-reviewed articles. This also helps with the generalization of the research findings. These strong qualities have seen the article cited several times.


The materialization of this work would not have been possible without the concerted and endless material and moral support of my family. I sincerely thank you for unyielding encouragements and the hours you put in to make this humble work a success. I will also forever be grateful to my tutor who went an extra mile to ensure that my eyes were always open to new ideas that facilitated the success of this research. Your comments were constructive, timely and above all, well intentioned and impactful. I am also highly indebted to my classmates for their tireless support, advice and constructive discussions that helped me in completing this research.



Millerd, Frank. “The economic impact of climate change on Canadian commercial navigation on the Great Lakes.” Canadian Water Resources Journal vol. 30, no. 4 (2005): 269–280.

Koetse, Mark J. & Rietveld, Piet. “The impact of climate change and weather on transport: An overview of empirical findings.” Transportation Research Part D 14 (2009): 205–221



Hersch, Charles. “Poisoning Their Coffee: Louis Armstrong and Civil Rights.” JSTOR 34, no.3 (2002): 371-92. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3235397

Schwartz, Ben. “What Louis Armstrong Really Thinks.” New Yorker. Last Modified February 25, 2014. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-louis-armstrong-really-thinks

Yanow, Scott. “Louis Armstrong and All that Jazz.” Biography  Last Modified  July 6, 2016. https://www.biography.com/news/louis-armstrong-biography-facts


[1] Frank Millerd, “The economic impact of climate change on Canadian commercial navigation on the Great Lakes”, Canadian Water Resources Journal vol. 30, no. 4 (2005): 274 – 275.

[2] Mark Koetse J. and Piet Rietveld. “The impact of climate change and weather on transport: An overview of empirical findings.” Transportation Research Part D 14 (2009): 211.