Expect shipping delays as climate changes, report says
New government report reveals the impact that climate change is already having in America, and what we can expect in the future.
Wed, Jun 24 2009 at 3:37 PM
Shipping delays, higher insurance losses, tight energy supplies and a decline in some tourist-based activities are among the climate change effects that the business community can expect in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
The group of government agency experts and academia updated a nine-year-old assessment of expected climate change impacts, breaking down its analysis by sector and region.
Delays in the shipment of goods will come as climate change causes increased flooding, mudslides, cracking pavement, a shorter ice road season in Alaska and infrastructure damage from stronger and more frequent hurricanes.
Transportation planners have not typically accounted for climate change in their long-term planning and project development. The longevity of transportation infrastructure, the long-term nature of climate change, and the potential impacts identified by recent studies warrant serious attention to climate change in planning new or rehabilitated transportation systems.
The landmark study found that climate changes are already underway in the United States and are expected to grow. Climate-related changes already observed in the U.S. include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. The report also noted that crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged, and threats to human health will grow as well.
The report can be viewed in its entirety at GlobalChange.gov.