Stealth release of major federal study of Gulf Coast climate change transportation impacts

On March 12 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) released the assessment report Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study, Phase 1. This report, 400+ pages long, is a major study of the implications of climate change for Gulf Coast transportation—including roads and highways, transit services, oil and gas pipelines, freight handling ports, transcontinental railroad networks, waterway systems, and airports. Transportation systems and infrastructure are likely to be adversely impacted by climate change, including warmer temperatures and heat waves, changes in precipitation patterns (extreme precipitation events, flooding), sea level rise, increased storm intensity, and damage associated with storm surge. The study talks about how climate change considerations need to be incorporated in transportation planning and investment decisions.

A link to the full report, which was posted on the CCSP Web site at about noon yesterday.

Three hours later DOT issued a pro forma, uninformative, and misleading press release on a different Web site, 3 links away from the report itself. There appears to be no other rollout activity in connection with this major climate change risk assessment-preparedness study. The press release lists only one contact, a press official who is a former Republican congressional staffer. It does not list as contacts any of the lead authors of the report—the individuals with the real expertise to discuss its contents.

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