There is a lot we still don’t know about how climate change will affect transportation networks and how to make infrastructure more resilient, but new research sheds some light on these questions. A model developed to study the impacts of floods on road networks indicates that even small, localized increases in rainfall could cause widespread disruptions and road outages.
For the first time, Standard & Poor’s has rated a catastrophe bond, also known as a cat bond, based on the level of a storm surge. First Mutual Transportation Assurance Co., a subsidiary of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is working with a reinsurer in Bermuda that specializes in catastrophe bonds. The bonds have proved so popular that the amount being issued jumped from $125 million to $200 million. MTA stated that they probably could have raised more money, but closed the sale.
According to the recently released draft report, climate change is now increasing the frequency and intensity of severe storms, flooding, droughts, and heat waves, as well as increasing sea level. Some communities prepared decades ago for hurricanes and other disasters, while others are still debating infrastructure changes that could protect their towns and cut down on future disaster recovery costs.
A new study of the preparations for and recovery from Superstorm Sandy outlines why New York City’s transit system was able to resume operations so quickly. The report from the Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU also points out the benefits of the city’s many transportation alternatives, which allowed residents other ways to get to work and other daily destinations following the storm.