Thursday, 18 January 2007: 9:15 AM
Integration of climate change/variability science into transportation policy and decision making
214C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Climate change and variability can have a significant impact on transportation infrastructure. In particular, sea level rise, precipitation and temperature changes, and changes in the frequency and severity of hurricanes and other extreme weather events pose risks to transportation. In spite of these risks, the link between climate change science and scenarios is only just now becoming recognized in the transportation policy community in the United States. How to link climate change and variability science with the transportation decision making process remains a significant research question. This paper will summarize findings from a current project being conducted for the U.S Department of Transportation and the U.S. Geological Survey on the impacts of climate change and variability on transportation systems and infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Specifically, this paper will address the following research questions: How vulnerable to climate change and variability is the transportation infrastructure in the Gulf region? What are the perceptions of risk, vulnerability and uncertainty by transportation policy and decision making stakeholders in the region? What are the transportation planning and decision processes in the U.S Gulf? Is climate change science being integrated into current processes of transportation planning and decision making, and if not, what are the barriers or constraints to this integration? The final research question focuses on the development of a conceptual decision framework for the integration of climate science into transportation policy and decision making at the regional and local scales. The paper will also summarize the large scale data collection and synthesis effort being conducted for this project.