Goods afternoon or good morning to those of you on the west.
Welcome to the talking freight seminar.
Climate change. We'll have three presentations. The first given by Robinner of the Federal Highway Administration.
The second presentation will be -- final presentation will be given by Allen Clark of Houston --
The climate change team provides leadership development, climate change adoption and sustainability issues.
FHWA offices. Department of Transportation and other stakeholders. Prior to moving to the sustainable and climate change team he is a coauthor on the gulf coast study that he is holding today.
Technology and policy from MIT and a BA in earth and planetary sciences from hear vaned university.
Clark's responsibilities include coordinating the areas -- in 2005 Mr. Clark was named a member of the transportation policy study on climate change on theist transportation.
Was also appointed to the federal advisory committee on change on transportation systems and in that structure gulf coast case study. Second strategic highway program. Joining Alan is Amy boyiers. Answer questions you may have.
Amy is a senior environmental planner.
In 2008 Mr.
Boyier served as a lead staff environmental attacks which involve working with local governments and academe yeah to develop policy recommend for climate change.
Environmental consulting experience conducting phase one environmental site assessments for public an private clients and producing NEPA documents for the U.S. army corps of engineers.
Today's seminar will last 90 minutes with a of 0 minutes -- 60 minutes allocated and the last 30 minutes for question and answer. You can type it in the small text box under the chat area on the lower right side of your screen.
In the syntax box and not the large white area. Make sure you send your questions to everyone. Indicate which presenter your question is for.
Presenter also bun able to answer your questions during their presentation.
I will start off the question and answer session with a question typed in the chat box.
The operator will give you instructions on how to answer a question -- ask a question over the phone.
Encourage you to use the freight planning list serve. Is an email list an it is a great form for the distribution of information where you can pose questions to find out what others have found out in the freight planning area.
Register is provided on the slide on your screen. Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and visual portion of this seminar will be posted within the next week.
We encourage others to -- access the recording.
The Power Point presentations used during the seminar are available for download in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next week.
I will notify all attendees of the Power Points and the transcript of the seminar.
We're going to go ahead and -- is climate change.
Our first presentation will be given by Robinner from the Federal Highway Administration. Our final presentation will be given by Allen -- if you have questions during the presentation type them in the chat box.
They will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar.
Welcome everybody and I appreciate your attention this afternoon or this morning for those in the west.
Like to take a few minutes to talk about freight an climate change.
Just a few statistics to get started.
It's important to recognize that transportation contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is significant. Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. we're pretty significant portion of this issue.
The impacts on all of the transportation infrastructure that we expect from climate change.
Focusing in on the freight modes.
Passenger modes in the U.S.
produce three quarters of the gas emissions. 2 and a half percent from freight and smaller percentages from ships an aircrafts. Remained stable over the last few years although greenhouse gases declined slightly and from medium
and heavy duty trucks has increased slightly over the last year.
What can be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? That's the first question we need to answer. The first thing we need to look at.
All of these are being investigated an evaluated simultaneously.
We refer to a four leg ed stool -- we can raise the vehicle efficiency. National debate on that. The carbon content on fuels so that releases less carbon into the air.
We can reduce BMT.
By that I mean -- VMT. Vehicle mile traveled that we expect to happen in the future. Improve vehicle an system operations. All four of those legs of the stool are going to be important to achieve our goals.
Going to get up to the portion of the emission reductions to meet our targets. Especially the Federal Highway Administration improving vehicle systems an operations -- and operations so jobs and recreation are closer together.
Shifting to more efficient modes. Whether on the passenger side or the freight side. Increasing funding for transit and promoting non-motorized strategies.
This chart is to indicate that we need to do more than just the first two legs of the stool.
If you look at the blue line on this chart, that's projected carbon dioxide emissions with the cap A standards that are already in place. The green is the target we need to meet,
internationally accepted target what we need to accomplish by 2030 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The VMT is projected to grow. Will overwhelm all of the other reductions from the other legs of the stool.
If we were not to do anything about VMT we manage to improve based on the other legs of the stool based on fuel efficiency, vehicle and energy efficiency. Those will be overwhelmed by the VMT.
We need to address that issue as well.
The potential for impacts to our infrastructure.
We manage -- maintain care about broad -- systems throughout the United States.
It's essential to our nation and our economy. It is threatened by the impact of climate change. Federal highway has led studies of impact on transportation including the gulf coast study that Ralph is going to give you in a few minutes.
Sea rise level in the east coast. We supported recent transportation research studies on impacts and adaptation.
The climate changes our infrastructure has to evolve to handle new conditions.
I talked about both sides of the climate change so far. Mitigation and adaptation are really the two issues. Mitigation is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Without mitigation we're going to see higher sea levels,
Climate impacts, flooding, pavement deterioration.
Adaptation is actions we take to avoid, withstand or take advantage of current and projected climate changes and impacts. Vol near result or increase its resilience to impacts. Discussion an debate about climate change
and a lot on the mitigation side of reduces greenhouse gas emissions. We really need to focus on adaptation. What we can do now to prepare for the climate changes that we know are going to come
and the ones that we suspect we'll be seeing in the next 50 to 100 years.
Could vary by region and could include higher sea levels for our coastal areas. Some increased storm surges from hurricanes. More intense varied precipitation. Increased temperature.
Increases in the number of hot days.
Changes in freeze/frost cycles.
Some of these impacts might mean a permanent inundation of roads bridge approaches. Weakening of the land substructure -- temporary grading of roads. Increased stream flow and bridge scower. Pavement cracking.
All of these are impacts that we need to think about an reviewing an preparing for when we think about the climate wage issue.
-- change issues.
A couple of maps why this is important what we need to look at. Top 20 water ports. Vulnerable to sea level rise. Need to begin to prepare for the impact of climate change.
Even the interior ports need to be concerned about changes in stream flow, changes in precipitation, changes in temperature that are expected due to climate change.
[ Indiscernible: Speaker/Audio faint and unclear] is going to talk about the gulf coast on his presentation.
In this slide in the blue, those are areas that are vulnerable to 2 to will feet of sea level rise. The all of which are impacted by the range of sea level rise, which, if we don't reduce greenhouse -- inundated by climate change.
Federal highway has tried to get a sense of what's happening in the state of the practice. In a number of activities I'm going to talk about what we found. Surveyed state DOTs to try
and understand what kinds of adaptation activities are underway. Significant inconsistencies across states and regions including MPOs on their goals and action plans on the climate change.
Certainly the greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts don't impact those boundaries.
In terms of climate change action plans which many states, if not all state have in place.
The DOTs are sometimes not a part of the state level action plans strategies and developments.
It means that they don't know what the goals are necessarily that are in those plans. They don't have an opportunity to discuss what the goals should be.
In some cases, some of those goals that are set are extremely difficult to achieve in terms of the con try Bruce that the transportation sector could make to the overall greenhouse gas emissions to the state.
Important to be part of the debates that are going on right now. Most of the focus of the state right now is on greenhouse gas mitigation with little concept of adaptation.
We did survey specifically about adaptation in 2008 and found there are only about 13 states that have actions takes place and another 15 with actions or activities under discussion. And MPOs in try to move those numbers
and get -- promote the discussion of adaptation discussions to take place in terms of preparing for climate change.
What are some of those adaptation options that need to be discussed?
They generally fall into four categories.
One thing we can do what we've been doing so far is to continue to try to maintain and manage our existing infrastructure.
Higher maintenance costs and in some cases going to be significant challenge to maintain what we've got. Another option is to protect and strengthen. A lot of that has happened already. Sea wall, buffers,
design changes that might make for bigger storm water pipes, higher bridges that would better withstand changes that will occur. Other options are relocation.
You can see a map in California proposed U.S. one move the key facilities rather than -- so that if one portion of the system goes down for a period of time, there are options that we can continue to reach people,
continue to provide the access and the economic development that the transportation system provides for our country. Alaska is the lead near the adaptation activities partly by default. They have to be.
They've been subject to an awful lot of climate change. They've seen a loss of shore sea ice as well as melting per ma frost and these pose major threats to the infrastructure. Of the coast in a particular storm
and that brake away happened over about an hour or two. The governor established a state level adaptation advisory group including a focus on public infrastructure.
Include shoreline protection programs, evacuation route planning. Discussions going on in Alaska and Louisiana and some other states about whether or not really need to pick up communities
and move them from where they are now because there's simply no way to protect them from what's going to happen. Per ma frost protection as well as the expanded data collection and collaboration.
California has had a number of activities in adaptation. They've got a plan for sea level rise -- extreme weather events and they are working on that now. Climate change action plan includes adaptation options.
To support infrastructure vulnerability assessment. All states consider really take a regard look at where the infrastructure is, what you have? Try to get an understanding of the climate change impacts.
What is vulnerable to those impacts so you can determine and prioritize what kind of actions need to take place. What are the implications of adaptation and decision-making? Implications for every station -- design and construction
and Operations & Maintenance.
We need to be at every step we need to think about climate change and how we can adapt to the climate change we can reason bring expect to occur. In some cases they may be design standards. For example,
if a current design practice -- current practice is designed for a 50 year event. We're seeing that 50 year event happen frequently.
May need to change that design event or update what the definition or factors are in considering a 50 year storm and we need to adopt risk base design approaches.
Developing multiple designs and making decisions in a risk analysis framework where we really understand where the potential for a particular design
or particular scenario to happen at a particular design to be vulnerable to future climate change and make our decisions based on that decision.
federal highway has a number of activities underway. Help state DOTs and MPOs that are struggling with these decisions.
We are developing a strategy to address adaptation to climate change effects.
We'll be creating an interim framework to assess the transportation infrastructure climate changes impacts that can be reasonably assumed by the practitioners.
Including data needs, gap and other considerations. As we move forward with that framework which we hope to have available in a draft form, we look to pilot the framework for conducting the assessments with a number of states
or MPOs construction districts that are interested in addressing these issues and have made some progress already.
Really is effective and is working.
If anyone is interested in partnering with -- get in touch with me after this presentation so we can work on that in the future. We're also developing guidelines for consideration of climate change impacts
and adaptation in project development and environmental review process.
National weather service and the new national climate service should that come in to place so we're getting the most up to date science and information.
We can assess the potential impacts on the infrastructure.
Conducting on impacts an adaptation.
Rob is going to talk in a moment about gulf coast study phase one where we looked at potential impacts in the gulf coast region. Detailed look in a more particular community
or MPO city within the gulf coast region to try to do detailed vol near ability assessments an analyses on the transportation system.
How you go about doing these things. Use it in the decision-making process. That should get underway in the next couple of months. Federal highway regulations
and considering any updates that are necessary in order to help all of you to focus on climate change and adaptation issues.
Give you a couple of resources for more information. You can see the websites available. The U.S. DOT has a clearinghouse where you can find all of these reports and more information Federal highway -- last December,
we conducted with AASHTO an adaptation peer exchange report. Came out of that peer exchange where we talked to 11 or 12 state DOTs what they were doing on adaptation activities.
You have that link for that report.
I didn't update this slide to indicate a new report that just came out. It was released yet by the U.S. global change research program called global climate change impacts in the United States.
This is a government-wide sector-wide report about how the climate has already changed -- likely changes in the future and impacts throughout the United States. I encourage you to search the Web
or go to climate change dot gov for the climate change reports that was done about a dozen or so federal agencies and was released yesterday.
I'll stop here. Hand over to the other speakers.
Thank you Rob and thank you for those who posted the questions at the end of the seminar.
We'll move onto Rob of Cambridge systematics.
What we're going to talk about this gulf coast study is on the adaptation side of the mitigation, reducing emissions and then adaptation how to deal with climate impacts.
This is a case study of those climate impacts that Rob discussed in a general sense. A case study of one specific region, the gulf coast region of the United States. Impacts of climate change
and variability on transportation systems and inspray chuck sure, phase one.
A little bit about why we started this study. This was a DOT USGS study. Hen we started it -- when we started it little research had been done on transportation impacts compared to the amount of work that had been done on mitigation,
the amount of work that had been done on reducing greenhouse emissions. Really built for the long haul. So it's a climate changes, the infrastructure may need to evolve to these changing conditions.
The idea was to do a study of one particular region and see what those impacts would really mean. The gulf coast region was closen for the study. Was a coastal swap of the central golf coast region stretching from Houston,
gal vas on the on the left to the new or lean area in the center and over to beloxcy and mobile, Alabama. Four state region. So why study the gulf coast in particular?
The gulf coast is actually especially from a freight point of Jew very national -- view, nationally significant area. 40% of the U.S. marine tonnage is carried through the area.
It is inland waterways. Carries 90% of the U.S. inland water way tonnage. Six out of seven of the class one railroads come through the area. There is a major east/west interchange point where the rest earn railroads
and the eastern railroads change their cars.
17,000-miles of highway, 56 million passengers at the three largest airports.
So what we did in this study is took a look at essentially four major climate impacts that we decided were deemed were the ones with the most significant impacts for this area. Those were sea level rise, increased storm surge
and storm intensity. Changes in temperature, changes in precipitation.
We were lucky enough to be working with very good scientists at the U.S. geological survey. We were able to come up with very sophisticated modeling projections. The way these projections were done is a more soluble approach.
21 climate models in order to statistically average these results together with a range of temperature and sea level increases that we might expect over the next 50 to 100 years. What we found is that a few different findings.
One is that temperature is going to go up. That's a very robust finding. Something that all the models were in agreement on. Increase one to five degrees Fahrenheit over the next 50 years.
As far as transportation is concerned the increase in very hot days, the extreme temperatures.
Days over 90-degrees Fahrenheit may increase as much as 50%. Extremely daily high temps are also increasing with the greater than 50% chance of 21 days exceeding 100-degrees Fahrenheit.
As far as precipitation the model showed mixed results. The intensity of rain fall events is likely to increase.
We also came up with numbers for sea level rise and hurricane vol near racket.
Are robust finding.
The projections show that relative sea level rise will increase one to six feet.
Relative sea level rise? That includes traditional sea level rise. The increase in sea level due to melting ice. Melting glaciers. The central gulf coast is fortunate enough to have another problem, which is subsidence.
The sinking of the land masses in the gulf coast. This is a natural process. Slowly compact over time.
It is something that will worsen their vulnerability over time. Hurricane is high in that area already. Likely to increase with storm intensity.
This is due to changes in the sea surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico which has been trending upwards over the years. One thing to note about the impact is the timing is not clear.
There's also the possibility of abrupt changes in the system.
So that's something that we have to be cognizant of. What is this implications for? Highways, rail, reports and waterways. Long range planning and investment. What we've done is essentially took our analysis
and overlaid it on infrastructure maps in the region to see what this would mean. What we have here is a map of what would four feet of relative sea water rise mean to the area?
In the present day there's areas below sea level with the most significant one being in New Orleans.
The area under water expands considerably. Most egg sufficient cantily the Louisiana delta is a low lying region. Much of the coast all the way along.
There's a few caveats I do need to say about this findings. This analysis of impacts is based on land elevation rather than the height of facilities. That data was not readily available.
Would demonstrate the issues planners will face in attempting to deal with climate impacts. The presence of levies an sea walls. There was a welcome of good data.
It is important to realize that given the con activity of intern modal system, even having one segment flooded is render or block access to it.
Many transportation facilities depend on local roads which are not elevated.
You could have a situation in which your highway is out of reach of the water but all the entrance and exit wraps are not. -- ramps are not.
Since we're talking about freight is a similar map for ports Rob had shown something like this as well. You can see that essentially, all of the ports in the area are vulnerable to sea level rise in one way or another.
This may not be -- in many cases the land side structures the terminals, wear houses, those things are not elevated or protected and are at risk to sea level rise.
At risk from flooding.
Coming down to 2400-miles of roadway.
That is not including local collector roads. We only look at the interstate and [ Indiscernible ] Miles.
Arterial miles. There's also the issue that you have temporary flooding in low lier areas including as you have this increase in precipitation intensity,
it will be compounded by the rising sea levels which will make it harder for the water to drain off the land.
This picture is, of course a familiar within.
This is highway 90 bridge in -- it straits the affect of storm surge and wind. So we did a similar analysis here. What we looked at is the vulnerable of a storm surge of 18 feet. That's a strong category four or five storm.
Hurricane Katrina came up with 28 feet. So 18 feet is not such an extreme assumption by any stretch of the imagination.
This map shows freight rail lines that are vulnerable to a storm surge of 18 feet. What actually happened during Katrina.
This area over here, about 30-miles of track in this area were washed out.
Took six months and 250 million-dollars to repair it. In addition, the major interchange point in the New Orleans area was under water as a result of the storm.
From the different six class one railroads that have tracks in the area. They come through all this vulnerable area. So all are at risk.
In terms of total numbers, what does this mean? About half of the interstate miles. Virtually all of the port facilities.
That's probably not a surprise to anyone. A third of the rail miles operated 43% of the freight facilities.
22 airports in -- sea level. 18 feet of elevation rather.
The airports we're all aware those are typically built in coastal areas or wetland areas that weren't [ Indiscernible ] So they're particularly vulnerable.
There is potential damage for offshore facilities.
Offshore pipeline facilities.
There's also impacts from temperature and precipitation.
Clearly sea level rise and hurricane vulnerable are the heavy hitters here. Implications for maintenance and construction practices from high temperatures. You can't put work crews out on very hot days or limit the time they work.
Increased energy con suggestion for storage. For the rail network issues for potential rise and rail buck -- potential for changes in local and national markets and travel demand.
This is particularly interesting for this area which see as lot of the U.S.' agricultural output comes through the Mississippi region.
You can imagine that if there are changes in different agricultural products are grown or shipped due to precipitation patterns and if the harvest season changes, this will have major impacts on the major water system.
If produce comes through and the -- major problems for the freight shipping system or could move elsewhere.
Precipitation of course has implications really the main one is dealing with storm water.
So there would be changes to storm water retention and facility treatments.
What are the implications for transportation planning? Well one of the things to note is that climate change is generally impacts of climate change are not considered in planning as Rob noted already.
We have a current practice focused on a 20 year planning horizon which is not well suited to the best climate impacts. You can see what happens when you have current transportation planning process over here.
If we start doing engineering and design and construction, we typically base it on historical clay mat data which is from the previous 30 year period.
If we expect this facility to stay in service for 50 or 70 years which can happen for a bridge, what will happen is as the facility progresses through the life it will be in a climate for which it was not designed.
So what can we do to prepare for this? The future is uncertain.
You may have noticed that all the numbers they give you are ranged are expected temperature and sea level rise. We need to have reliability under a range of conditions in order to have a robust transportation system.
This is just some approaches to decision-making. Scenario planning.
Using probabilistic approaches.
Need to be able to consider incremental and abrupt change. What this leads to an approach that Rob also alluded to. A risk assessment approach that leads us to our adaptation response.
This gulf coast study that we talked about represents the risk assessment for this whole area. Exposure of this area's transportation structure, to climate impacts.
How vulnerable it S. resiliency factors. The next step is deciding what your adaptation response is.
Whether you relocate. Once you put in place that adaptation response it leads to greater resilience but the climate does not stop changing.
This become as never ending process.
You need to continually update your risk assessments -- it's also important as we do this, we don't live in a world of unlimited resources so you have to decide where your adaptation dollars should go first.
You should have some way of prioritizing what are the most important facilities.
You need to have more than just the degree of risk, not just what is most likely to be hit by climate impact. But also how important are these facilities to your system performance. Of course,
you want to -- the critical facilities are of course those here, the ones that are both high risk and of critical importance. Major bridges.
Things like that. Adaptation dollars beyond that. A good example in California with their seismic bridge retrofits.
They decided they wanted to retrofit all their bridges to be able to withstand earthquakes but they had an inventory of bridges in their system. Where the dollars should go first.
They came up with a whole co-- different levels of resiliency that were needed. Wanted to make sure -- more minor bridge maybe could be reopened within six months.
Developing this kind of mind set in order to deal with climate impacts.
The study we talked about is available on the web. It was done at the climate change program. You who can also contact me with any additional questions with it. With that, I'll turn it back over to Laura.
Thank you Rob. Our final presentation will be given by Alan Clark of the Houston, Galveston area.
Hand it over to you .
Can you hear me?
I'll unmute myself.
Sense we got started -- back in 1966,
our organization has provided a Venn you for local governments to respond -- November 2007HKC Board of Directors established an expert panel to develop recommendations for local governments to adapt to potential changes in the region's
climate and the associated environmental effects.
The fore site panel was known was charged to recommend sound strategies to local government to adopt to the effects of climate change should they occur. You can see from the nature of the panel, it had a variety of academic, government,
transportation, persons covering a wide range of disciplines from policy, engineering, climate change, gee owe science, flood control etc.
We worked from much of the material that you saw printed earlier, particularly the gulf coast study. From that study, we attempted to pull some of the major climate effects that could be faced by our region.
Summarized here are the four principle ones, the temperature increase, sea level rise, periods of drought and the potential for heavy rain fall events and the possibility of increased intensity if not frequency of furry canes
and -- hurricanes and tropical storms.
When we look at our region and consider a five foot level increase in sea level.
That's a combination of increase in actual water height but also the fact that our region experiences some of the greater rates of subside dance in the gulf coast region.
The heavier blue areas on this map show those that would be inundated by a 5-foot sea level rise. We zoom in a bit to one of our areas, if I can get my pointer to behave.
Here you can see the area that includes the port of free port, one of the regions fastest growing water ports. This heavy blue line that you see is the alignment of the gulf coast intercoastal waterway.
That serves Texas and was the principle roots for the movement or -- routes of barge movement in our region. Great risk to such a level of sea level rise.
The report in terms of its recommendations looked four major strategies that we could deploy. These are similar to earlier presentations.
First strategy is managing the facilities that we have. The strategy that we can perhaps implement the soonest.
One of the things we looked at is the effects that were not only to inspray structure but to the potential effects on human health and welfare, emergency management types of activities.
One of the keys to dealing with in these areas is to strengthen the mute yawl aid agreements -- mutual aid agreements especially with major weather events.
Not everyone is going to be affected at the same time.
But as our region continues to grow and we're anticipating the addition of another three to three and a half million people in the next 20 to 25 years,
we need to make sure that this new growth that happens in a way that it's going to be more survivable for major storm events, avoids some of the impacts of climate change.
One of the comments made earlier is that in transportation planning, we have traditionally looked at a 20 to 30 year time period with the visioning exercise we might look as far as 50 years into the future, but with climate change,
we need to have a much longer vision. The foresight report looks at conditions as they might be at the end of the decade, 2100.
So many of the transportation infrastructure investments was said that not only in and of themselves have potential live of 50 or maybe 100 years but the land use changes resulting from those decisions will have a very "long-life"" time.
-- long lifetime.
How can we finance the recovery process? Insurance?
and other financial resources that you might be aware of are not only inadequate for this scale of reinvestment that's often needed I but sometimes are limited to -- limit your ability to do more than just simply replace what facility you
Here are some of the management -- the report took a very sort of ground level approach to this in that we still think that historical data is useful,
but we now want to introduce some of the information from climate change in that decision-making.
Very short term things that local governments can do to help mitigate affects of climate change like heat waive management -- heat wave management plans.
Although the principle focus of this report was adaptation.
We are looking for those strategies that you can also have the benefit of reducing the contributes factors to climate change, particularly greenhouse gas emissions.
Some things we're looking at in terms of growth.
Our recent experience with hurricane Ike illustrated the difference between structures that had been developed with modern design standards and construction method z as opposed to older structures that were far less survivable.
-- far less survivable. Reinvestment is a decision that is often linked to significant and community changing kinds of activities. Today,
the city of Galveston is trying to consider how it should not only restore the damage that's occurred but how it should grow to look in the future.
Their reinvestment strategies are not only going to take this longer term view of the infrastructure but also looking at inspray structure in a connected and broader way. For example,
how will the transportation infrastructure be affected by the loss of electrical power to an area. The roads can be unblocked, can be passable, but if we don't have the power to turn on the traffic lights at the intersection,
how do we operate them safely? Then in the recovery process, we're asking ourselves as a regional council of governments how we can assist our local government. In that regard, a simplistic idea of how we'd like to do this.
In that planning, obviously should be an immediate and early activity that's used to develop guidance documents as climate change as we respond to climate change and as we attempt to give direction to future growth.
The investment in things like transportation infrastructure would need to follow in a way that's consistent with that planning process.
One of the most significant decisions is a decision to relocate some elements, for example, of the transportation infrastructure because of their significant potential impact of land use.
Not all infrastructure has the same impact but for example, if we relocate interstate 10 to the north of the current location closer to the regional U.S. 98 alignment, that would have far reaching
and dramatic impacts across all our local governments.
For one thing I would say about this chart is it's extremely optimistic. As we've learned from hurricane Ike, sometimes the logical sequence for planning, investment and major decisions can be compressed into the immediate here
and now as a consequence of mother nature.
For continuing the work following our development of this initial effort with some of the activities you see here, mention briefly the last one, working with the Texas A and M Bush school,
they've been discussing with the elected leadership in our region and others their knowledge of climate change of the work of the foresight panel and any changes or new decision-making that has occurred as a consequence of that
or actions they may have initiated.
I think one important fact or factor for us to keep in mind is that it's very difficult for local governments to get their hands around these decisions. Their timeframe for most decision making is very short term.
Usually can toll improve -- capitol improvements programs extend five or six years. Dispute their general knowledge of cry mat change it's -- climate change it's difficult for them to make this in their decision-making process.
Look forward to hearing your questions.
Laura. I'll turn the presentation back to you.
Thank you Alan and thank you all for posting questions. We'll note that Diane from FHWA has been posting responses in the chat box for us. We'll scan over the responses as we go through these.
I turn your attention to some of the chat box questions that may have been answered by Diane. Thank you for handling that. We'll start at the top with questions from Rob -- for Rob Ritter.
The assessment that Rob Ritter mentioned to use are those studies eligible for FHWA funding?
Yes. As you all know, I'm sure there's a variety of types of federal aid funding all with different rules and requirements an other uses. It does -- certainly eligible for certain categories of federal funds.
If row have specific questions about how to go about that of which you can use, I encourage you to check with your highway Division Office. So I'll follow up with you Bethany
and provide you some additional feedback to work with your DOT and MPO on your assessments.
I believe Diane has addressed. Are we still using the predecession prediction for the -- freight demands. As shown in your map with the level of service [ Indiscernible ] For rail and much of the gulf coast area.
This is Diane. Can you hear me?
Thank you Diane.
Sure. I just want to say while we were on lean, I checked with our freight operations office.
The forecast they're using -- prior to the recession. Like I said in the answer we'll check for them if they're going to revise any of those forecasts because of the economic downturn. As it stands now;
those forecasts are prior to the recession.
Okay. Thank you. I forgot you are on the phone with us.
This is Rob Ritter. Just a quick thank you to the new climate change team and Diane [ Indiscernible ] Who helped put together the presentation I weren't over together.
Thank you Diane.
If there is a 50 year event happening every 3 years should the 50 year event be redefined?
That's a very good question we're asking as well.
I'm not a highly controlling person.
I can't tell you how the a year event is defined. One of the things we're starting to think about is whether we should be redefining that 50 year event.
We're working with the other federal agencies to look in to those kinds of questions right now and to think about what needs -- how we need to do those definitions
and how future climate change might play into some of those definitions as well. Whether or not those definitions change, how does that impact the standards of the practices that we advocate here at federal highway.
This is Rob [ Indiscernible ] I'll add to that. As far as how it's defined, that's based on historical data. What of the rain fall events have been for the past 50 or 100 years. Becomes less and less accurate for today's world.
Nice enough to give you all the link for the report that Rob Ritter mentioned at the end of his presentation.
That listening is provided for you in the chat box so you can -- that listening is provided for you in the chat box. In the state of Alaska, a few coastal community has been relocated in association with the U.S.
army corporation of engineers. That's something that's going on in Alaska.
So we'll go on a quick note about the website that Rob mentioned.
Giving the details of what's on that website.
I think Diane saved the day here and responded with an update to our URL and where you can find the report for that adaptation change.
We'll get that posted to our climate change website so that connection is obvious.
Okay. We had a question or whether or not the statistics that was cited were based on the study [ Indiscernible ] Or nationwide.
Limited to --
That's correct. Those are limited to the 48 county study area that we did. All statistics were for that area.
So our next question is anticipate that the new federal transportation authorization will include funding to port authorities for physical and problematic solutions for vulnerabilities and -- in climate change.
I'll open that to any of the presenters an Diane if you'd like to respond.
I'm not sure what we can speak to what's going be in the transportation piece.
All of these are going to be debated within the Admin station and congress right now. -- especially the [ Indiscernible ] Build that's under debate in congress right now.
I couldn't say but I think those times of issues where we provide the funding and what's required in terms of planning an addressing for the -- and addressing what's in store for climate changes. I don't think we have answers yet.
Let me add to that.
Further down in the box that Karl lean Bailee of EPA provided a URL that EPA did really a white paper on planning for climate change impacts on U.S. ports. That doesn't answer your reauthorization question as Rob explained.
We don't really know that.
It does highlight the connection between ports an climate changes and the impacts that are expected.
Technical issues by the user, which would be me. I apologize for that folks. Jump right back into the questions now that we're back in control here. We had a question, which I think, Diane has also addressed a little bit.
Does anyone have a nation-wide map listing showing any of the seaports and how it would be affected at various levels of sea rise? I believe that we definitely do have maps showing all the seaports in the U.S.
an we could overlay the seaport map with information with a two or four foot sea level rise as well as a storm surge if there's anything else anyone would like to add to that.
This is Diane, I thought we could -- we certainly have all the seaports listed in the U.S. I think both has them.
We could overlay that with some of the information from the gulf coast study. The maps that Rob high man presented and kind of get an idea of what the ports should look like with storm surge and sea level rise.
The only thing to add to that is finessing is the west coast ports could be in a very different situation because a posed to sub size dance they experience elevation of the land area.
So it's not quite as simple as except saying the water would be this much higher for everywhere.
Right. Thank you for reminding me of that.
Okay. We had a request to please recommend reports or resources that would be appropriate for states located in the interior the west and the mid-west I'm sure the folks -- presenters could follow up with some recommendations.
I think the website we mentioned if DOT climate change clearinghouse has a number of reports you want to take a look at. One, I think don't we mentioned,
would probably be worthwhile is the national academy of sciences report 290 where they went through a wide variety of potential climate change impacts
and what that means to a broad range of transportation infrastructure both on the coast and interior.
I think you want to talk to national academy of soon report 290 as well.
What are the likely funding sources for the necessary adaptation studies and projects?
This is Rob. At the moment, there aren't specific funding sources specific to adaptation studies an projects. I -- and projects. I don't know if there would be programs that are designed specifically for that.
But as I mentioned in my presentation we feed to consider adaptation at every point in the decision-making process.
We have funding for each of those points.
You are using your standard planning funds to address adaptation there. Whether or not you want to use a 50 year storm event or different storm event when you are considering what's the appropriate design for a project,
you have better laid funding available for that design, Operations & Maintenance the same sort of issues. I don't expect a specific pot but various funding sources for activities.
We do have a little built of time. Explain to ask a question.
I will bring up some pictures from hurricane Ike scroll through them as she's giving the instructions on how to do that. The impacts.
At this time if you would like to ask a question over the phone leans press star one on your touch tone phone. Your name is required in order to introduce your question. To withdraw your request press star two.
One moment please.
The first question comes from date Linh house.
Be ahead with your question.
Maryland Department of Transportation.
I had a follow up request to my request for an overlay of sea level rise on ports across the nation.
That is, could we try to do something similar on the rail side? I'd love to sea the rail lines.
One slide Rob had -- we didn't do it for the whole United States but that would be something we could look into.
Sure. I think especially as it per tans to nation-wide vision for freight it would be important to see what parts of the country are compromised than others.
Yeah. That's a good point.
At this point there are no further audio questions. To ask a question that is star one.
We did have a quick question if you could repeat the answer about redefining a 50 year event that you gave earlier.
I can try. You'll have to go back to the audio recording for that. My point is that a lot of designs are based on 50 year and 100 year storm events as Rob indicated.
Based on historical data.
We're seeing changes based on the greenhouse gases, seeing changes to precipitation that are not straight line changes from historical events and we're not seeing the same kind of storms, same intensity
or frequency that we have seen for the last 50 or 100 years. It may be appropriate to not use the 50 year event in some particular cases.
We are certainly at federal highway talking with some of the federal agencies to do some evaluations of what the 50 year or 100 year event should be considered and whether
or not we should be updating those -- that information so that as you're moving forward and making decisions about designs or changes to existing infrastructure you are using different information that.
Is ongoing now as you all can appreciate, I'm sure, there's a lot of ramifications to those changes. We want to make sure we're using the appropriate science.
Have the most up to date information an are appreciated in all those ramifications that we make these decisions and put out information for you.
Okay. With that I think we are through all of the questions that are typed in and questions over the phone. Thank you all for attending today's seminar.
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