12:30 PM - 01:30 PM
7 October 2021

Future Climatic Data for Infrastructure Design

Natural & Man-Made Disasters

Climatic loads and design values are of essential importance in designing building, water, transportation, and other types of infrastructure. Typically, climatic loads and design values in building and infrastructure codes, standards and guidelines are obtained through analyses of historical climate data. This assumes that the past climate conditions, including mean and extreme climate events, will be adequately representative of the future climate conditions over the service life of the infrastructure. However, the changing climate will be altering the climatic regimes in the future. The results of global and regional climate change models as well as some climate stations data show an upward trend in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events. Under the changing climate, the historical-based climatic design values turn out to be less valid which increases the infrastructure vulnerability and risk of failure. Therefore, it is crucial to use projected climatic design values, which reflect the impact of changing climate over the design life of the infrastructure. This session focuses on the implications of climate change for climatic design values and challenges in deriving them for infrastructure design. One of the major issues is the high degree of uncertainty and the various sources of uncertainty associated with the projections of climate models. In addition, the future climate process will become non-stationary that makes the problem even more complex, particularly for infrastructure with a longer design life. The session will provide insights into the future climatic values for infrastructure design obtained using the projections from climate models.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding the principles of climate change and climate models that are pertinent to the design of civil engineering infrastructure.
  • Identify two major challenges with the future projections of climate models: (i) High uncertainty and various sources of uncertainty, including uncertainties in greenhouse gas emissions, climate models and internal climatic variability; and (ii) non-stationarity, which need to be considered for the future climatic design data.
  • Guidance on the integration of future changes in climatic data into climatic design values of buildings and infrastructure for implementation in design codes and standards.