With towns and cities flooding from Sheffield to Venice, Durban to Jakarta, and Australia on fire, the newly declared climate emergency is hard to ignore. In its wake, it is important to understand the range and scale of climate change impacts, to help inform decision-making.
ABPmer recently led a scientific review to inform the 2020 Report Card from the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), evaluating the current and potential future impacts of climate change on coastal and marine transport and infrastructure.
Transport and infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of climate-change impacts, in particular sea-level rise, storms and waves. These have the potential to modify asset risk profiles for flooding and coastal erosion. Generally, UK industry recognises the potential impacts, though must weigh these longer-term risks against the cost of implementing more immediate adaptation plans.
Several strategic initiatives are already in place to improve understanding of potential climate change impacts on the physical environment. These include the development of sophisticated numerical models looking at the morphological response of coastal systems to rising sea level, as well as consideration of potential for enhanced levels of scour around marine structures.
Although understanding of climate change impacts is improving, considerable uncertainty remains with regards to how weather parameters that determine infrastructure risk profiles may be affected.
Jan Brooke was also part of the review team.
The Marine Climate Change Impacts Report Card 2020 brings together more than 150 scientists from over 50 leading research organisations, delivering a comprehensive, updated review on the range and scale of physical, ecological and societal impacts of climate change on UK coasts and seas. To read the full Report Card, visit the MCCIP website.
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