What is it about?
Rising surface temperatures due to global warming affect civil infrastructures. Most of the current engineering processes are based on regional climate data that show past climatic changes. Engineers need to consider possible future climatic conditions to ensure infrastructural safety. Physics-based climate simulation models can be a solution to this. These models help to include predicted climatic changes in engineering analyses. And while they are helpful, they are also complex, with many factors affecting their final prediction. A new study offers an overview of the use of climate model predictions in civil and environmental engineering. The authors reviewed 50 engineering studies and two case studies for their research. Their results shed light on the general procedures and decisions involved, common techniques, and underlying uncertainties of climate model predictions.
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Why is it important?
Civil and environmental engineers need to consider the effect of climate change when designing, constructing, and managing infrastructure. Climate model projects can help in the engineering process, but do present certain challenges. One is the complexity and unreliability of downscaled projections, which is the use of large-scale climate models to make climate predictions for desired local or regional scales. The second is the complexity of postprocessing techniques, or the methods that remove errors and improve predictions. These factors may make the use of climate model projections tricky. Developing a common work structure to identify, evaluate, and update climate models, projection results, and new downscaled projections would address many of the current challenges. KEY TAKEAWAY: Global climate models are important tools to understand future climatic conditions. They can inform the design of engineering infrastructures as well. As their demand increases, they must be modified to remove underlying challenges and improve the efficiency of engineering processes. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities • SDG 13: Climate Action • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals • SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Framing the Use of Climate Model Projections in Infrastructure Engineering: Practices, Uncertainties, and Recommendations, Journal of Infrastructure Systems, September 2022, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), DOI: 10.1061/(asce)is.1943-555x.0000685.
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