Thursday, 27 December 2012

Weather or not

Whether you believe it is man-made or natural, some sort of Climate Change is happening, and probably always has.  It may or may not have a bearing on this having been a very wet year.

But anyway; in a recent IET article it is reported that the IPCC declares that climate extremes, or even a series of non-extreme events, combined with social vulnerabilities and exposure to risks, can produce climate-related disasters. Another IET article points out that recent terrorist attacks on infrastructure have highlighted the vulnerability of our rail and road networks, reinforcing the importance of good risk assessments to protect some of our biggest assets.

One could imagine that if Terrorists can predict disasters that they could then seek to exacerbate the problem. This is something that I explore in my book Cold Suspenders.

Extreme events can have a direct effect on people’s lives, potentially disrupting commodity prices, supply chains, markets, and economies. The recent wet weather makes the possibility of the events in Cold Suspenders look even more likely.

Following some links from the articles I came across the Startrans project “Trains, cars, buses, trucks, metros… are interconnected to create a network of transportation systems. This network, at the heart of our daily lives, fosters social cohesion and needs to be protected as a crucial asset. Terrorist attacks and security related incidents on transportation systems in major European cities have shown that the protection of transport infrastructure is long overdue. This is where the STAR-TRANS project acts: to understand how one incident localised in one single transportation system may affect the whole transportation network: the network of transportation networks. STAR-TRANS will produce tools analyzing how risk propagates and affects interconnected transportation systems in Europe.”

It would seem that some-one is looking into it, although the results from a similar project (DEMASST) are a long time coming.

There was an interesting short story contained in the November issue of E&T.  The year is 2050, the city is London. The landscape of the capital has changed radically after the decision-making process over the effects of climate change was taken out of the hands of engineers and put into the hands of bureaucrats.A London landscape altered by climate change.

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