CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



The state of America’s infrastructure has been assessed annually by ASCE in 17 categories with a school report card–style A to F grading system (ASCE 2021b). Infrastructure plays a crucial role in our society, supporting our communities. For example, the ASCE’s 2021 Infrastructure Report Card states that of the 617,000 bridges across the United States, 42% have served for at least 50 years currently, and 7.5% (46,154) are structurally deficient with poor condition. As such, structures need to be evaluated regularly to ensure they can fulfill their service requirements. These report cards typically include recommendations to raise the grades (Cao et al. 2021).Each year, governments and the private sector additionally invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure that may face greater risks from future extreme weather and climate events due to inadequate design. As discussed by Ayyub and Hill (2019), these infrastructure investments represent public and private expenditures that exceed $1 trillion dollars annually, noting that the value of construction put in place for 2020 is estimated by the US Census Bureau (2020b) to exceed $1.3 trillion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 7 million employees were involved in US construction as of May 2020 (US Census Bureau 2020a). Given the importance infrastructure plays in the economy and the increasing risk it faces from extreme events, it is understandable that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 includes provisions for addressing climate change. Infrastructure elements with a relatively long life cycle, such as highway, power, and communication systems, must be resilient to the effects of a changing climate, including weather extremes and other related hazards.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2021) affirmed its earlier finding that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal and concluded that human-induced climate change is the primary driver. The congressionally mandated Fourth National Climate Assessment (USGCRP 2018; NOAA 2020) depicts these increasing trends of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since the 1950s, GHG emissions have driven many of the observed changes, which are unprecedented over decades and even millennia. Consequently, the overall projected changes in global climate over the next 50 years (IPCC 2021; USGCRP 2018) remain valid and call for action to reduce the potential for the negative impacts associated with these changes. Failure to account for future anthropogenically forced changes in the Earth’s climate during the design and construction of various components of civil and environmental infrastructure will result in significant maladaptation and increased losses due to fire, flood, and other natural disasters that are projected to increase in frequency and magnitude as a result of the changing climate.While awareness of the importance of climate resilience is growing among the professional communities of practice involved in the siting, design, financing, and construction of the built environment, particularly in civil engineering, significant challenges to systematic and well-informed action remains. Chief among these is the well-documented gap between current understanding of the evolution of the probability of relevant weather and climate extremes and engineering practice (ASCE 2018, 2021). While this gap takes many forms, one of the most illustrative is the lack of systematic treatment of climate change in most building codes and standards in the United States and abroad. Recent work by the International Code Council concluded that, globally, “Climate data is frequently only updated on a 10-year cycle on average, so as weather becomes more severe from year to year, the underlying data simply does not accurately reflect the risk to the building of these extreme weather-related events” (ICC 2021).Central to the success in addressing infrastructure needs and challenges is significant fiscal and intellectual investment in climate-resilient infrastructure for all systems that support communities. To help the United States achieve these twin goals, promoting the development of climate-resilient technologies spanning both mitigation and adaptation is of strategic importance. A formal collaboration between the US’s largest provider of climate information, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the world’s largest civil engineering professional society, ASCE, has been recognized by the leadership of both NOAA and ASCE as necessary and is ongoing. The expressed focus of such a collaboration is on advancing the use of NOAA-produced climate science and understanding within the engineering practice for the design and construction of climate-resilient technologies for infrastructure as presented and offered by ASCE, such as ASCE (2018, 2021a). Private and public investments in infrastructure for this purpose should be strategic and equitable. Scientists, planners, and engineers have central roles in this pursuit where innovation in technology development is necessary and ongoing to address related challenges. According to the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP 2018), our “Nation’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure is further stressed by increases in heavy precipitation events, coastal flooding, heat, wildfires, and other extreme events, as well as changes to average precipitation and temperature. Without adaptation, climate change will continue to degrade infrastructure performance over the rest of the century, with the potential for cascading impacts that threaten our economy, national security, essential services, and health and well-being.” There is a dire need to innovatively develop technologies for climate-resilient infrastructure not only for adaptation but also for contributions by infrastructure toward mitigation by reducing GHG emissions.The ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems was established in 2014 by Professor Bilal M. Ayyub as its founding editor in chief to address core issues related to hazards, risks, and associated economics, finance, and decision-making (Ayyub 2014). The journal has established itself as a leading archival journal in the civil and mechanical engineering risk and uncertainty field. This significant achievement for our research and engineering community is indicative of the importance of the scope and pursuits of the journal in meeting societal and professional needs and constructing knowledge to inform decision- and policy-making processes. Pursuing climate-resilient technology broadly and creatively is encouraged, where the term technology means the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as climate resilience, including the development of physical products (e.g., materials, sensors, robots), cyber products (e.g., software, databases, blockchain, crypto technologies), and processes and methods for intelligent decision (e.g., manuals, standards) (Reda Taha et al. 2021).As the founding editor concludes his term at the end of 2021 and passes the editorship to Professor Michael Beer, the editor is taking this opportunity to highlight in this editorial strategic needs to help guide the intellectual pursuits of our community for the service of our society by focusing on the development of technology for climate-resilient infrastructure.AcknowledgmentsThe editor in chief acknowledges with great appreciation and affection the advice and guidance of Professor Alfredo Ang, Professor Armen Der Kiureghian, Professor Gerald E. Galloway, Dr. Richard (Gene) Feigel, and Mr. Philip DiVietro in the establishment of the ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, and the efforts of the founding associate editors, managing editors, and gest editors in its development, particularly Professors Nii O. Attoh-Okine, James H. Lambert, Sankaran Mahadevan, Michael Beer, Armen Der Kiureghian, Kok Kwang Phoon, Ioannis Kougioumtzoglou, Alba Sofi, Eleni Chatzi, and Xiaobo Qu. Also, the support provided by the ASCE and ASME leadership and staff, and the assistants to the editor, primarily Ms. Deena L. Ziadeh and initially Ms. Che-yu Chang, is acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Last but not least, the success of the journal was not possible without the contribution and support from the professional risk and uncertainty analysis community that has exceeded expectation by far, and it is greatly appreciated.References ASCE. 2018. Climate-resilient infrastructure: Adaptive design and risk management. MOP-140. Edited by B. M. Ayyub. Reston, VA: ASCE. ASCE. 2021a. Hazard-resilient infrastructure: Analysis and design. MOP-144. Edited by B. M. Ayyub. Reston, VA: ASCE. Ayyub, B. M. 2014. “Introduction to the aims and scope of the journal.” ASCE-ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Eng. Syst., Part A: Civ. Eng. 1 (1): 01614001. https://doi.org/10.1061/AJRUA6.0000001. Ayyub, B. M., and A. C. Hill. 2019. “Climate-resilient infrastructure: Engineering and policy perspectives.” Bridge 49 (2): 8–15. Cao, W., M. Beer, and B. M. Ayyub. 2021. “Time-dependent reliability of aging structures: Overview of assessment methods.” ASCE-ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Eng. Syst., Part A: Civ. Eng. 7 (4): 03121003. https://doi.org/10.1061/AJRUA6.0001176. ICC (International Code Council). 2021. The use of climate data and assessment of extreme weather event risks in building codes around the world: Survey findings from the global resiliency dialogue. Washington, DC: ICC. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2021. “Summary for policymakers.” In Climate change 2021: The physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by V. Masson-Delmotte, et al. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). 2020. The NOAA annual greenhouse gas index (AGGI). Boulder, CO: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. Reda Taha, M. R., B. M. Ayyub, K. Soga, S. Daghash, D. Heras Murcia, F. Moreu, and E. Soliman. 2021. “Emerging technologies for resilient infrastructure: Conspectus and roadmap.” ASCE-ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Eng. Syst., Part A: Civ. Eng. 7 (2): 03121002. https://doi.org/10.1061/AJRUA6.0001134. USGCRP (US Global Change Research Program). 2018. Impacts, risks, and adaptation in the United States: The fourth national climate assessment, volume II. Edited by D. R. Reidmiller, C. W. Avery, D. R. Easterling, K. E. Kunkel, K. L. M. Lewis, T. K. Maycock, and B. C. Stewart. Washington, DC: USGCRP.



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