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ONE Planet DTP - Quantifying the effects of climate change on Infrastructure Networks (OP20217)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project will use the latest generation of convection permitting climate models to answer the question “are we now at the stage where climate models can be used to ask multifaceted questions about how our societies may be directly affected by a changed climate?”
The effective functioning of society is critically dependent on having a working critical infrastructure; however, understanding the best climate adaptation strategy to implement for critical infrastructure is far from straightforward [1, 2]. The uncertainty surrounding future climate, coupled with the significant cost of infrastructure systems and their longevity, means it is neither possible nor desirable to design them to resist every weather-related eventuality [3], as this will result in wasting money if we are too pessimistic in our design assumptions or leaving us insufficiently defended if we are too optimistic. Climate change adaptation for infrastructure requires a multifaceted approach that can not only estimate the likelihood of future weather events (the hazard) but also their impacts on our built environment (risk), and the full range of societal consequences resulting from these impacts (cascading risk) so that a range of robust adaptation strategies can be explored. This project, will develop a framework that can provide probabilistic projections of both future climate impacts on infrastructure and the societal consequences of these. They will demonstrate the validity of the framework by applying it to a real infrastructure network (e.g. electricity network) threatened by future climate (e.g. windstorms or floods) and therefore provide a proof of concept for climate impact quantification.

1. European Commission (2017) Assessing Adaptation Knowledge in Europe: Infrastructure Resilience in the Transport, Energy and Construction Sectors.
2. European Commission (2013) Adapting Infrastructure to Climate Change
3. Chappin, E. and van der Lei, T. (2014) Adaptation of interconnected infrastructures to climate change: A socio-technical systems perspective. Utilities Policy, 31.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here: View Website

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