ASCE's Committee on Adapting to A Changing Climate (CACC) recently released a white paper titled Adapting Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Practice to a Changing Climate. The committee, comprised of more than a dozen leading engineers, spent two years compiling science data and formulating recommendations for civil engineers to recognize and adapt infrastructure to the threats of climate change.
The paper identifies two major challenges of climate change to the engineering practice: uncertainty of climate data at regional scales and shifting the current practice of relying on historic data to utilizing predicted conditions-known as "nonstationary." To address the uncertainty of climate models, the authors suggest increased research and science across disciplines to better understand possible scenarios and develop better regional models. The paper suggests that where data gaps or uncertainty exists, engineers should adopt low-regret adaptive approaches.
Kurt Corey, P.E.
Director of Public Works
City of Eugene