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CLIMATE CHANGE AND VULNERABLELITY OF ENGINEERING INFRASTRUCTURES: A CRITICAL REVIEW

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2019 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1900069.(doi:10.13031/aim.201900069)
Authors:   Boniface Obi Ugwusihiwu, Emmanuel, Amagu Echiegu,, Eusebius,   Tochukwu Okorie,, Joel Nweze Nwakaire
Keywords:    Climate change, engineering infrastructures, impact, mitigation measures vulnerable, resilience,

Abstract. Climate change is a reality all over the world and has posed serious threats to engineering infrastructures, as well as other critical infrastructures. It is caused by the inconstancies or uncertainties in the climate due to the evolution of the climate system over time resulting from natural phenomena such as: volcanic eruptions, and solar variations; as well as human induced changes in atmospheric composition attributed to greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of the study is to evaluate evolutional trend of climate system and its adverse impacts on engineering infrastructures such as roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, water supply systems, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunication facilities and a host of others. Climate change already has far-reaching impacts on engineering infrastructures and can put their operations and reliability at risk. Main threats (or impacts) to these infrastructures include; damage or destruction caused by extreme weather events, which climate change may exacerbate; coastal flooding and inundation from sea level rise; changes in patterns of water availability; and effects of higher temperature on operating costs, including effects on temperate and/or permafrost. Engineering infrastructures are vulnerable to the ever changing climate. Mitigation measures such as adapting these infrastructures to the changing climate must be considered by engineers and other professionals who are now aware and consider climate projections in conjunction with historic trends and current conditions (from climate data) as they make engineering designs, constructions, operations, and maintenance decisions for resilience to the potential impacts of climate change on engineering infrastructures.

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