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Climate Change and Transportation

From: Climate Change and the Potential Implications for California’s Transportation System (pdf)

California's economy, including foreign and domestic trade, relies heavily upon its transportation infrastructure. The state’s important role in the world economy makes its transport systems vital to people inside and outside its borders. In 2000, shipments by land, sea, and air through California ports totaled $392 billion. Throughout the decade of the 1990s, California’s transportation sector felt the destructive power that extreme climate events can yield. Increased frequency and intensity of storm activity combined with sea level rise is expected to worsen problems of beach erosion and cliff under-cutting. This is a serious issue for coastal road and rail systems, as well as California’s system of levees. Warmer winter temperatures will lead to more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow. Increased runoff during the winter and spring months will increase the risk of flooding and landslides. Events such as the Mill Creek landslide along Highway 50 in January 1997 may become more common.

Post last edited on: 2011 April 12

Tags: sea level rise, transportation

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