Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Steven Fernandez
    Pages 1-2
  3. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Steven Fernandez
    Pages 3-16
  4. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Steven Fernandez
    Pages 17-40
  5. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Steven Fernandez
    Pages 41-54
  6. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Steven Fernandez
    Pages 55-68
  7. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Steven Fernandez
    Pages 69-72
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 167-188

About this book


Hurricane Irene ruptured a Baltimore sewer main, resulting in 100 million gallons of raw sewage flooding the local watershed. Levee failures during Hurricane Katrina resulted in massive flooding which did not recede for months. With temperatures becoming more extreme, and storms increasing in magnitude, American infrastructure and risk-management policies require close examination in order to decrease the damage wrought by natural disasters. Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities addresses these needs by examining how climate change affects urban buildings and communities, and determining which regions are the most vulnerable to environmental disaster. It looks at key elements of urban systems, including transportation, communication, drainage, and energy, in order to better understand the damages caused by climate change and extreme weather. How can urban systems become more resilient? How can citizens protect their cities from damage, and more easily rebound from destructive storms? This report not only breaks new ground as a component of climate change vulnerability and impact assessments but also highlights critical research gaps in the material. Implications of climate change are examined by assessing historical experience as well as simulating future conditions.

Developed to inform the 3rd National Climate Assessment, and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage and conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities examines the known effects and relationships of climate change variables on American infrastructure and risk-management policies. Its rich science and case studies will enable policymakers, urban planners, and stakeholders to develop a long-term, self-sustained assessment capacity and more effective risk-management strategies.


Climate change Extreme weather Hurricanes Irene & Katrina Infrastructure Risk-management policy

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas J. Wilbanks
    • 1
  • Steven Fernandez
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.Computational Science & Engineering DivOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

About the editors

Thomas J. Wilbanks is a Corporate Research Fellow at ORNL and leads Global Change and Developing Country Programs at the Laboratory. The programs that he coordinates have undertaken more than 60 projects in 40 developing countries in the past two decades. Most of these projects are directly concerned with science and technology for sustainability, including enhancing local capacities for S&T innovation and application. In recent years, he has been involved in such activities as the USAID climate change initiative, the NASA-supported Association of American Geographers (AAG) project on Global Change in Local Places, the U.S. National Assessment of Possible Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, and IPCC Working Group II. He is a past President of the AAG and has served on numerous committees of NAS/NRC, including current membership in its committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change. Current activities include the development of tools to facilitate an integrated analysis of climate change impact response alternatives, assessments of climate change vulnerability and responses in developing countries, and potentials for accelerating clean energy technology use in developing countries.

Bibliographic information