Climate Change

Climate Change

Climate change reports.

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2017 - Australia - Effect of Climate Change on Road Infrastructure

There is an increasing evidence that the earth’s climate is changing with some of the changes attributable to transport infrastructure. Climate change can have impacts on road infrastructure. The direct impacts can be due to the effects of environment. Temperature can affect the aging of bitumen resulting in an increase in brittle failure of the surface seals that represent more than 90% of the rural sealed roads in Australia. Further, rainfall changes can alter moisture balances and influence pavement deterioration. Brittle failure of the bitumen causes the surface to crack, with a consequent loss of waterproofing of the surface seal. The result is that surface water will enter the pavement causing potholing and will cause rapid loss of surface condition. More frequent reseal treatments will overcome the problem, but this is at a higher cost to road agencies. Road infrastructure is a long-lived investment.  An understanding of the expected impacts of future climate change by road designers, asset managers and planners, could produce considerable cost savings in the long term. This research aims to provide an assessment of likely effects on climate change for South East Queensland region in the next 90 years, and further identify and assess the likely effects of climate change on road pavement. It can be concluded that, climate change in South East Queensland does play a role in lower deterioration rates. The findings suggest that decreasing rainfall (decreasing TMI) will slow flexible pavement deterioration. However, increases in temperature are likely to cause materials to expand to affect pavement deterioration rates.

2017 - Affordable Coastal Protection

Design guide giving a variety of coastal protection solution for Pacific Island countries.

2015 - USA - Storm Damage Risk Reduction Guide

Steel bridges comprise approximately 20% of New Zealand state highway bridges and, with the inclusion of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, represent an asset replacement value of over $2 billion. Protective coatings are often less than one third of a millimetre in thickness and are required to protect highly stressed steel from corrosion in often aggressive marine environments. Historically the full potential life of these coatings has not been achieved due to less than optimum coating selection, specification, application or maintenance. The ultimate objective of this guide is to optimise the long term capital and maintenance costs of steel structures through the implementation of best practice in the selection, application and maintenance of protective coatings on steel structures. Protective coatings for steel bridges generally provides an overview of the key processes and considerations with references to other key standards and documents. It is provided to inform and assist the wider industry in achieving best practice. However, it is also strongly recommended that specialists with skills and experience in protective coatings are used to ensure the accurate interpretation and application of this guide and various reference documents on individual projects.

2015 - USA - Climate Change Adaptation Guide for Transportation Systems  Management, Operations, and Maintenance

This guide provides information and resources to help transportation management, operations, and maintenance staff incorporate climate change into their planning and ongoing activities. It is intended for practitioners involved in the day-to-day management, operations, and maintenance of surface transportation systems at State and local agencies. The guide assists State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies in understanding the risks that climate change poses and actions that can help reduce those risks. Incorporating climate change considerations into how agencies plan and execute their transportation system management and operations (TSMO) and maintenance programs helps the agency become more resilient to unanticipated shocks to the system. Adjustments to TSMO and maintenance programs—ranging from minor to major changes—can help to minimize the current and future risks to effective TSMO and maintenance.

2014 - International - Effect of Climate Change on Infrastructure

Climate change poses a critical threat to future development, particularly in areas where poverty is widespread and key assets such as infrastructure are underdeveloped for even current needs. The focus of this study includes ten geographically and economically diverse countries and the impact of 54 distinct AR4 Global Circulation Model (GCM) scenarios of future climate change on their existing road networks. The analysis is completed using a software tool which uses engineering and materials-based stressor-response functions to determine the impact of climate on maintenance, repair and construction. This study represents an update to a previous study conducted by the authors in 2011. The key updates include methodological advances, policy-oriented results presentation and the use of a new software tool developed by the authors.

For nine out of ten countries in the study, pro-active adaptation measures result in lower fiscal costs and higher connectivity rates as early as 2025. The results through 2100 are presented and the costs of climate change present clear findings for these countries in terms of road maintenance, construction, and adaptation policy.

In rural areas, particularly those in low-income countries, roads represent a lifeline for economic and agricultural livelihood, as well as a number of indirect benefits including access to healthcare, education, credit, political participation, and more. Roads may be sparse through geographic locations, making each road critical. Extreme events pose a costly hazard to roads in terms of degradation, necessary maintenance, and potential decrease in lifespan due to climatic impacts.

Climate change poses costly impacts in terms of maintenance, repairs and lost connectivity; yet many of these impacts can be mitigated and avoided by pro-active adaptation measures. It is a crucial consideration for protecting current and future infrastructure investments and the economic, social, and other functions they serve.

The Infrastructure Planning Support System (IPSS) is a software tool designed to quantify the impacts of both extreme events and incremental climatic changes on road infrastructure in any geographic location throughout the world. The system identifies the financial cost on a yearly basis through 2100 and allows users to compare proactive adaptation measures and reactive non-adaptation measures. IPSS compares a ‘no climate change’ scenario as a baseline to provide information on the ‘regret’ that may occur if a predicted outcome of climate change model does not manifest as projected. Infrastructure impacts are determined based on civil engineering materials research, field studies of actual impacts on roads and buildings, and additional data. These resources are combined into stressor-response equations which are implemented to provide specific cost estimates. Additionally, the program can be customized to a specific location where data is available on stressor-response impacts on the infrastructure elements being analyzed.

This paper focuses on the methodology and application of the IPSS tool to countries representing a range of incomes including low-income, middle, and upper income countries. The IPSS tool is used to compare costs of adaptation and opportunity cost for each country. The results indicate that higher income countries face significant dollar costs due to the extensive road networks, with very high costs in Japan and Italy, in particular. Bolivia, Ethiopia, and Cameroon all show extremely high advantages to adaptation, yet the costs required to simply maintain existing networks are equivalent to funding equal to doubling or tripling the existing paved road inventory. These results can help policy makers at the national and international levels decide where and how to invest; and show that climate change represents a significant and urgent threat to transportation throughout the world.

2014 - Ghana - Economic Impact of Climate Change

Climate change scenarios for many Sub-Saharan African countries including Ghana

indicate that temperatures will increase while rainfall will either increase or decrease. The

potential impact of climate change on economic systems is well-known. However, little has been

done to assess its economic impact on road infrastructure. This work assesses the economic

impact of climate change on road infrastructure using the stressor-response methodology. Our

analysis indicates that it will cumulatively (2020-2100) cost Ghana US$473 million to maintain

and repair damages caused to existing roads as a result of climate change (no adapt scenario).

However, if the country adapts the designing and construction of new road infrastructure

expected to occur over the asset’s lifespan (adapt scenario), the total cumulative cost will increase

to US$678.47 million. The paper also provides decadal and average annual costs up to the year

2100 for the ten regions through the potential impacts of 54 distinct potential climate scenarios.

2012 – Zambia - Infrastructure and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptations for the Zambezi River Valley

The African Development Bank has called for $40 Billion USD per year over the coming decades to be provided to African countries to address development issues directly related to climate change. The current study addresses a key component of these issues, the effect of climate change on the road infrastructure of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, all located within the Zambezi river basin. The study incorporates a stressor-response approach to estimate

the effects of projected precipitation, temperature, and flooding changes on the paved and unpaved road infrastructure of these countries. The paper highlights the result of running 425 climate scenarios for each road type and policy option from 2010 – 2050. Based on a resulting

database of over 1.4 million data points, the three southern African countries are facing a potential $596 million price tag based on median climate scenarios to maintain and repair roads as a result of damages directly related to temperature and precipitation changes from potential climate change through 2050.

2012 – EU – Impact of Climate Change on Road Infrastructure

This report provides a general EU-wide outlook about the future vulnerability of transport to climate change with a focus on the road and rail transport and their infrastructures. It also analyses some specific adaptations measures, illustrating key issues to be considered for policy making. It represents a first JRC/IPTS assessment of future impacts of climate change on the transport system in Europe, which has been conducted in the framework of the JRC PESETAII project.

2009 - UK - The Effects of Climate Change on Highway Pavements and how to Minimize Them

Report describing effects of climate change on asphalt, concrete, modular and unbound pavements, and the expected impacts from climate change.



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