Screenshot from Transportation Climate Change Sensitivity Matrix

Transportation Climate Change Sensitivity Matrix

Transportation departments can use this Microsoft Excel®-based file with Visual Basic macros to generate reports on the sensitivity of six types of transportation assets to 11 potential climate impacts.

The Transportation Climate Change Sensitivity Matrix provides information on the sensitivity of six transportation modes and sub-modes to 11 potential climate impacts. Sensitivity is the degree to which an asset or a system responds to a given change in a climate stressor; this parameter is a key part of evaluating vulnerability and risk. Planners can use information from the matrix to screen for assets that are particularly sensitive and, therefore, potentially vulnerable to climate change.

Transportation assets covered in the matrix are (1) rail, (2) ports and waterways, (3) airports and heliports, (4) oil and gas pipelines, (5) bridges, and (6) roads and highways.

Climate stressors considered are (1) increased temperature and extreme heat, (2) precipitation-driven inland flooding, (3) sea level rise/extreme high tides, (4) storm surge, (5) wind, (6) drought, (7) dust storms, (8) wildfires, (9) winter storms, (10) changes in freeze/thaw, and (11) permafrost thaw.

The matrix provides the following information for each type of asset and climate stressor:

  1. Relationship: Qualitative description of the relationship between each climate stressor and each asset subtype.
  2. Thresholds: Any specific information about the threshold at which an asset subtype might be expected to begin experiencing damage.
  3. Indicators: List of indicators that have been associated with increased sensitivity to that climate variable in the past, or could be associated with that climate variable in the future.
  4. Key Sources: Relevant sources of asset subtype information on design, maintenance, management, etc.
  5. Additional Notes and Examples: Historical examples of sensitivity of the asset subtype to that climate stressor and any additional information.

Tool features

  • Includes easy-to-use menus to select transportation assets and climate stressors for evaluation.
  • Generates reports showing sensitivity of categories of transportation assets to specific climate stressors. 
  • Provides extensive references for climate change effects on transportation.
  • Requires minimal computer knowledge.
Last modified
8 September 2021 - 4:56pm