Adapting Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Practice to a Changing Climate

627 words | 3 page(s)

The text Adapting Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Practice to a Changing Climate seeks to establish the effects of climate change on civil engineering, and ways that engineers adapt to these changes for continued development. The infrastructures developed by the engineers are set to last for longer periods of over 50 years, hence, they must take into consideration any effects of the climatic changes. The changes in the weather conditions affect the structures built and those under feasibility study. Climate and engineering have a correlation with each other in that for engineers to design a project, they must consider the effects of the weather on the infrastructure.

Ideally, the changes in climate create a significant threat to the future development; for instance, the rainy seasons affect roads constructions. The changes cause an impact associated with the increased maintenance and repair costs. However, to control this, the engineers have to use the best adaptive measures during the designing of the projects. Environmental degradation as a result of global warming has been the main cause of problems for the civil engineering projects. The other forms of climate changes are due to pollution, illegal constructions in inappropriate sites, and deforestation.

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Therefore, following the changes in weather, it causes floods, drought, and landslides that in turn affect the infrastructure development. The engineers face a hard task of designing infrastructural development that would suit the future changes in climate. Moreover, practicing engineers derive the uncertainty from the fact that the changes in climate are not definite but may at times occur unexpectedly. Hence, they base their structural designs aimed at surviving through any climatic changes in assumptions about the possible climate changes.

In order to adapt to the changes in the climatic conditions, the engineers ought to work together with the scientists doing the climate research, thus, understanding any future changes and the consequences the change might bring. In addition, the scientific projections on any expected occurrences affecting the weather by the scientists should be provided to practicing engineers to help them in their designs. In turn, this will allow them to project the level of damages the occurrences might cause to the structures under construction.

Despite that, it is hard to determine the extent of the potential risks associated with the climate change; the engineers should help establish a new way to train the practicing engineers. Through such training, the practicing engineers get a chance to learn how to deal with the climate changes that may arise in future. Following this new knowledge, the projects constructed would be environmentally friendly and would be able to withstand the future effects of the climatic changes. Besides, the structures that face a threat of being affected by the changing climate in a particular area need to be identified, and those involved notified well in advance to prevent any future accidents.

An illustration is the scientists’ projections that the oceans absorb approximately a quarter of the carbon dioxide that the atmosphere emits every year. Thus, the sea is becoming more acidic, thereby, raising concerns about the possible impacts of this to the marine life. As such, when engineers conduct a study to determine any infrastructural designs in the ocean, they need to consider this factor to avoid putting up a structure that might be destroyed by the acidity levels in future.

Therefore, for the engineers to adapt to any changes in the environment, they need to develop detailed approaches to help attain the necessary climatic information and its effect on future projects. Furthermore, they need to assess the assets in order to determine their vulnerability to future changes in the climate. The engineers need to use the risk management tools and resources to manage and control any identifiable risks on the projects following the changes in climate.

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