Climate Change Impacts on the Natural and Built Environment
Climate change projections indicate warmer temperatures and increased probability of extreme precipitation events over most of Canada including Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). It is not clear how the projected increases in frequency and magnitude of extreme precipitation events coupled with increasing temperatures will impact water infrastructure in cold regions. The complexity of processes that determine the hydrologic responses of watersheds requires regional or local analysis and makes it difficult to anticipate changes without a high level of uncertainty. Planning and design for storm water and other civil infrastructure in a changing climate is a challenge for engineers and decision makers who must utilise highly uncertain information to make local planning and design decisions. My overall research program seeks to develop community-based decision support tools by integrating a suite of models capable of simulating potential impacts of anthropogenic climate change, land-use change, and management decisions on infrastructure systems at multiple scales. It is vital to understand the interactions between the built and natural environment to assess the vulnerability and risk of local infrastructure and aquatic habitat to extreme events, and to facilitate building resilience and adaptive capacity into the infrastructure planning and design.