T-shirt weather on Christmas, snow storms in May: Climate change is affecting our private life. It does, however, also have an impact on the economy. Transportation and shipping have to adapt to sudden weather changes and extreme climate conditions – globally. In order to review research on this subject and to identify key areas for future research, 45 specialists from the U.S. and Europe joined forces. They met at a transatlantic symposium held by the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation and chaired by McKinnon in Brussels in June, 2016. Among the participants was KLU professor Michele Acciaro who contributed his expertise on the adaptation of maritime transport to climate change.
Topics of the Brussels symposium that were presented by McKinnon to the TRB included possible ways to manage transportation disruptions during periods of excessive rainfall, to improve the resilience of transportation systems during periods of extreme heat, and to prepare transportation infrastructure for rising sea levels and storm surges. During the symposium, high-level experts from various fields discussed the technical, financial, and policy challenges and assessed the need to design, build, operate, and maintain transportation systems that are better adapted to the challenges caused by climate change.
The final report of the symposium, released in January, 2017, proposes a portfolio of potential research topics for the EU and the US.