Climate Change

Climate Change Impacts on Transport

So how important is the impact of climate change on transport infrastructure?  Very important in developing countries it seems.  We have just completed a present cost analysis of this at a river crossing in the Solomon Islands. It looked out over a 25 year period.

In the absence of downscaled climate forecasts and detailed hydrological data a scenario analysis was developed.  Baseline asset performance in the absence of climate change was assessed against a range of climate change scenarios using actual flood event and cost data. This created estimates of days service lost as well as maintenance, repair and replacement costs.  Five different socio-economic impacts driven by service levels were also assessed identifying wider economic costs.

The upshot is that just at this one crossing the economic present cost of climate change is equivalent to around 5% of the current national transport budget. Any climate change adapation measure that fully mitigates that for less cost will increase economic welfare.  The analysis provides a rational basis for an adaptation budget when considering possible engineering design changes.