Climate Projections for Transportation Infrastructure Planning, Operations & Maintenance, and Design

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1 Climate Projections for Transportation Infrastructure Planning, Operations & Maintenance, and Design KATHARINE HAYHOE, ANNE STONER, JO DANIEL, JENNIFER JACOBS and PAUL KIRSHEN THE INFRASTRUCTURE CLIMATE NETWORK (ICNET.ORG)

2 The U.S. is getting warmer Source: 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment

3 Heavy precipitation becoming more frequent Source: 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment

4 Sea level is rising Source: 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment

5 Billion dollar weather and climate disasters are on the rise

6 Climate changes can affect infrastructure in many ways. For example: HIGH TEMPERATURES reduced performance, faster deterioration, different materials may be required to prevent rail line buckling, accelerated pavement rutting and other impacts HEAVY PRECIPITATION impair operations and maintenance, transportation network reliability, and safety; limit infrastructure access caused by roadway flooding or subsurface subsidence, reduced culvert performance, and bridge scour HURRICANES AND COASTAL FLOODING puts at risk built infrastructure, such as sea ports, transportation, and levees, as well as residential areas including roads and bridges

7 In planning, we assume long term climate will remain stable and can be predicted based on past climate normals

8 Today, climate is manifestly non-stationary: future climate conditions and weather risks will differ from those experienced in the past How do we incorporate these trends into planning for operations, maintenance, and design of transportation infrastructure?

9 We have a good idea of how certain types of extremes are being affected Stronger and more frequent heat waves Stronger rainfall and winter storms Rising sea level and stronger hurricanes Larger wildfires in the West

10 Others, we re still arguing about Droughts: stronger, but more or less frequent? Polar Vortex: related to Arctic warming? Derechos: Hard enough to predict, let alone project! Tornadoes: are they affected?

11 WHAT CAN WE DO? For some purposes, we can stop right here. We know enough about the vulnerability of our system and the direction of future change to build resilience into future planning.

12 WHAT CAN WE DO? For other planning purposes, we need more. CHICAGO, IL CAMBRIDGE, MA BOULDER, CO

13 How do we incorporate climate projections into future planning? 1. Identify the climate or weather-related concerns already known to potentially affect the infrastructure that is being designed, built, and/or maintained. 2. Quantify the type of the information required by engineers and transportation experts to assess future impacts and minimize vulnerability 3. Determine which of these risks have changed historically or are likely to change in the future, and the extent to which climate science can provide robust information on these risks to be used in future planning.

14 For many impacts, including heavy precipitation, we can develop quantitative projections

15

16 STEP ONE: Use multiple simulations and models from latest generation of global climate model simulations (CMIP5)

17 STEP TWO: Develop projections for multiple scenarios, from higher to lower

18 STEP THREE: Downscale to a continuous 1/16 th degree grid or to local weather stations selected by the planners, engineers, or users

19 STEP FOUR : Develop projections for impactrelevant climate indicators (ex. Chicago) 14 out of 18 city depts. identified temperature or precipitationsensitive thresholds. These included: Chicago Transit Authority Dept. of Transportation Dept. of Emergency Response

20 Or, how frequently we can expect combined sewer overflows number of days per year Lower emissions Higher emissions

21 Or, how large we need to build our storm water infrastructure Source: Hayhoe, for DNREC 2013

22 Or even, how much it will COST to adapt

23 For the Northeast, we developed a suite of general indicators

24 This information can be used to Re-design stormwater systems

25 This information can be used to Redraw flood zones

26 This information can be used to Build more resilient infrastructure

27 SUMMARY Climate change affects average conditions as well as many different types of extreme weather events. For many locations and situations, this means that we now need to account for non-stationarity when planning for the future. Although the future is uncertain, knowing the direction and (in some cases) even the magnitude of future trends can inform cost-effective adaptation and preparedness.

28 SUMMARY Climate change affects average conditions as well as many different types of extreme weather events. For many locations and situations, this means that we now need to account for non-stationarity when planning for the future. Although the future is uncertain, knowing the direction and (in some cases) even the magnitude of future trends can inform cost-effective adaptation and preparedness.

29 SUMMARY Climate change affects average conditions as well as many different types of extreme weather events. For many locations and situations, this means that we now need to account for non-stationarity when planning for the future. Although the future is uncertain, knowing the direction and (in some cases) even the magnitude of future trends can inform cost-effective adaptation and preparedness.

30 THANK YOU!

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