SPTC Seminar Series
Attending an SPTC Seminar is an excellent way to stay informed and earn professional development hours. Information on upcoming seminars will be posted when available.
APRIL 18, 2017
Title: Climate and Transportation - What's the Big Deal?
Tuesday, April 18th, 3-4 PM
Rawls Engineering Practice Facility Room 200
Presenter: Esther Mullens
ABSTRACT: Extreme weather, such as heat waves, cold waves, heavy precipitation, and winter storms, is well known to impact transportation safety and state of good repair. The Southern Plains Transportation Center has made climate adaptive transportation a focus of their research activities, based on the understanding that adapting and mitigating the impacts of extreme conditions require coordinated and innovative solutions. Climate variability and change is associated with changes in the frequencies and/or intensities of adverse events. In some cases, these changes may be such that using only historical climate information in planning and design may no longer be sufficiently accounting for the potential range of extreme conditions that the transportation system is likely to encounter.
In this seminar, we will present some detailed climatological information for the South Central U.S, focusing in particular on central Oklahoma. A large suite of historical and future datasets was evaluated, based on observations and high-resolution climate model projections. Exert input was solicited in order to determine the relevant climate variables and thresholds. Our results support the potential for some substantial shifts in climate normals, and implications to the transportation sector will be discussed. In addition, we will identify initiatives and resources are currently in place to support the use of climate future information in infrastructure planning, and the challenges that remain to be overcome.
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