finding 11.2 : infrastructure-service-disruptions

In urban settings, climate-related disruptions of services in one infrastructure system will almost always result in disruptions in one or more other infrastructure systems.



This finding is from chapter 11 of Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment.

Process for developing key messages: In developing key messages, the report author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconference. A consensus process was used to determine the final set of key messages, which are supported by extensive evidence documented in two Technical Report Inputs to the National Climate Assessment on urban systems, infrastructure, and vulnerability: 1) Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities: Technical Report for the U.S. Department of Energy in Support of the National Climate Assessment f0803451-5a89-474a-974f-99c13fdc725d, and 2) U.S. Cities and Climate Change: Urban, Infrastructure, and Vulnerability Issues .01b45a4a-2021-405d-a65b-2340e9ca9677 Other Technical Input reports (56) on a wide range of topics were also received and reviewed as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input.

Description of evidence base: The interconnections among urban systems and infrastructures have been noted in the past,c96579ac-f2a9-4b9b-8604-596124508776 with recent work expanding on this principle to assess the risks this interconnectivity poses. One studydf8dbdfc-912f-40b7-88a7-b3acbf026856 explored the misconception of independent systems, and stressed instead the interactive and interdependent nature of systems. The effects of climate change on one system ultimately affect systems that are dependent upon it.8a615831-3803-46e4-b6b2-b677bd3fdb4b One of the foundational Technical Input Reports examined the economic effects from climate change and how they will affect urban areas.f0803451-5a89-474a-974f-99c13fdc725d Noted examples of this interconnectivity can be found in a number of publications concerning Hurricane Katrina,e305f6dc-41e0-4c2f-9eeb-9e3ca69dcb98 intense weather in New York City,31a7ff37-2411-463b-a2ea-5752d0b29edc f041f900-42eb-4e0e-ba8b-284b731f2e4d and the vulnerability of U.S. oil refineries and electric power plants.f0803451-5a89-474a-974f-99c13fdc725d 996f4616-6ae6-4248-9351-f28215ac556c

New information and remaining uncertainties: Recent work has delved deeper into the interconnectivity of urban systems and infrastructure,f0803451-5a89-474a-974f-99c13fdc725d 8a615831-3803-46e4-b6b2-b677bd3fdb4b and has expressed the importance of understanding these interactions when adapting to climate change. The extensive number of infrastructure assessments has resulted in system interdependencies and cascade effects being well documented. Therefore, the most significant uncertainties are associated with the rate and extent of potential climate change.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence: Given the evidence base and remaining uncertainties, confidence is very high that in urban settings, climate-related disruptions of services in one infrastructure system will almost always result in disruptions in one or more other infrastructure systems.

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