Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate; edited by J. Rolf Olsen, Ph.D.
/ 102 pp.
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Adapting Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Practice to a Changing Climate presents an accurate discussion of the potential significance of climate change to engineering practice. Although considerable evidence indicates that the climate is changing, significant uncertainty exists regarding the location, timing, and magnitude of this change over the lifetime of infrastructure. Practicing engineers are faced with the dilemma of balancing future needs for engineered infrastructure with the risks posed by the effects of climate change on long-term engineering projects. The gap between climate science and engineering practice somehow must be bridged. This report identifies the technical requirements and civil engineering challenges raised by adaptation to a changing climate.
Topics include: review of climate science for engineering practice; incorporating climate science into engineering practice; civil engineering sectors that might be affected by climate change; needs for research, development, and demonstration projects; and summary, conclusions, and recommendations. Three appendixes illustrate different engineering approaches to assessing or preparing for climate change.
Practitioners, researchers, educators, and students of civil engineering, as well as government officials and allied professionals, will be fascinated by this discussion of the trade-offs between the expenses of increasing system reliability and the potential costs and consequences of failure to future generations.