Climate risks and adaptation pathways for coastal transport infrastructure

Guidelines for planning and adaptive responses
Transport Strategic planning Climate change Risk Australia
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apo-nid104261.pdf 3.32 MB

Transport infrastructure across the spectrum of road, rail, airports and seaports includes assets that are long-lived and infrastructure that is designed today must consider expected increases in the intensity of extreme weather events. Much of Australia’s transport infrastructure is located close to the coast and so is vulnerable to sea-level rise and its associated processes (e.g. erosion, tidal inundation). Faced with the uncertainties of the timing and severity of climate change, decisions about what and how to build new coastal transport infrastructure, as well as maintaining existing ones, will become more and more challenging in the future. High level vulnerability mapping assessments of future climate change, including sea-level rise, undertaken at the Australia-wide level (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 2011) and by the various state and territory governments demonstrate that transport infrastructure owners and operators have compelling reasons to begin planning and adapting now to climate risks. These Guidelines were prepared to provide coastal transport infrastructure authorities and organisations with targeted information about climate risks for both assets and operations (including workforces). Key risks examined include cyclones, storm surges, flooding, high wind events and increased lightning strikes as well as changes to rainfall patterns (leading to drought and water supply shortages), fog events, increased extreme hot days, temperature increases and long term sea-level rise implications. The Guidelines also contain practical information pertaining to strategies and measures for building resilience of assets and operations to climate risks and undertaking adaptation planning. This includes information to guide timing and triggers for adaptation responses and information on an adaptive pathways approach. The Guidelines draw on information, advice and guidance, contained within the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) on-line portal CoastAdapt as well as other guidelines available across Australia. This desktop review also showcases current strategies, plans and practices being undertaken by road, rail, airport and seaport authorities across Australia.

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