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The Effects of Climate Change on Civil Engineering by City Tech Blogger Herging Victor

The effects of Climate change have greatly taken a toll on people and infrastructure systems. Adaptation and mitigation are the new challenge for Civil Engineers working on sectors such as: Buildings, Coastal infrastructure, Transportation, Energy, water systems and other structures. They are called to be aware of the reality by including Science related to the climate in their practice and researches.

Climate change is the most dangerous threat for mankind since it is the catalyst to increasing the a series of extreme events such as: precipitation and flooding, heat waves and cold snaps, drought, storms and wind. At long term, the changing climate can encompass changes in average temperatures, sea level rise, relative humidity, air pollution etc. As a result, it is crucial for those who are responsible to plan our infrastructure to have the knowledge of future climatic conditions in order to reduce the impact of climate change. Nowadays, the curriculum for Civil Engineering studies must take into consideration climate change as a special class. By doing so, we can expect from our Engineers a better adaptation to climate change.

There are many professionals who do care about the global issue of climate change. The American Association of Civil Engineers (ASCE) counts over 150,000 members and works to promote understandings and response to the big challenge for the upcoming years. They provide education and standard practice. Also the Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate (CACC) that is involved with the ASCE is very helpful. Those initiatives are good to be mentioned because licensed or students engineers have to be involved in environmental changes by doing researches in order to apprehend the consequences of a changing climate. Likewise, they have to take in consideration uncertainties related to climate change for new projects.

The modern engineer is a visionary who are using strategies that allow future construction or infrastructure to be resilient to Climate change and bad environmental conditions. Moreover, planning and design of every single infrastructure has to deal with the reality of a changing climate. Institutions and governmental agencies should work on regulations, laws and standards that are based on the risk of climate change so, building codes can be updated and conformed to the future climate conditions.

 

REFERENCES

Special Issue “Climate Change Effects on Infrastructure” Dr. Boulent Imam ,Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (c5) University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK https://www.mdpi.com/journal/infrastructures/special_issues/climatechange_infrastructures?view=compact&listby=type

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One Response

  1. I agree with this post.

    The statement made in this post that “it is crucial for those who are responsible to plan our infrastructure to have the knowledge of future climatic conditions in order to reduce the impact of climate change” (Paragraph 2). A lot of infrastructure in New York City alone is only made to withstand the next 5-15 years. However, this is assuming the weather conditions are to proceed as expected for those periods of time. In the event of a super storm or other natural disasters, that damage would throw everything off balance. The problem is the life expectancy we use to build. How we should be building is for the worst case scenario. With that, we won’t have to worry about sustaining irreparable damages to infrastructure and we will also dodge financial deficits in reconstruction.

    This post is another testament that engineers for the next generation should think big in environmental benefit instead of construction. We should be building towards a bigger and better world, instead of building for the moment in our own benefit.

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