Increasingly frequent extreme weather due to climate change poses challenges for local, state, and federal transportation and infrastructure systems. Increased temperatures can damage vehicles and aircrafts, which may directly affect their performance. Extreme weather also impacts transportation infrastructure, which may shorten the life expectancy of the infrastructure and require more frequent maintenance, repair, or reconstruction.
Climate Implications - Multi-modal Transportation
Impact on land transportation and facilities
High temperatures, floods, and extreme precipitation can damage roads, bridges, and railways. The damage to road surfaces can lead to difficulties in walking, cycling, and driving cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses. Damage to railways makes traveling by train more difficult. Storms and heavy rainfall can disrupt traffic and may delay construction and repair activities.
High temperatures may cause vehicles to overheat and malfunction, creating a negative impact on public transportation. In addition, high temperatures can deteriorate tires, and decrease the performance of vehicles and bicycles. High temperatures and extreme weather may make bicycling and walking less preferred or even dangerous.
Impact on air transportation and facilities
Extreme weather events can cause flight delays, and in severe cases airports may be forced to close. In addition, the facilities of the airport may also be damaged during these events. Extreme heat can cause ripples in runway and taxiway pavement, affect the performance of an aircraft, and pose risks to flights, forcing aircraft to restrict cargo, delay travel, and even cancel flights.