Toward indicators of the performance of US infrastructures under climate change risks

Thomas J. Wilbanks, Rae Zimmerman, Susan Julius, Paul Kirshen, Joel B. Smith, Richard Moss, William Solecki, Matthias Ruth, Stephen Conrad, Steven J. Fernandez, Michael S. Matthews, Michael J. Savonis, Lynn Scarlett, Henry G. Schwartz, G. Loren Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Built infrastructures are increasingly disrupted by climate-related extreme events. Being able to monitor what climate change implies for US infrastructures is of considerable importance to all levels of decision-makers. A capacity to develop cross-cutting, widely applicable indicators for more than a dozen different kinds of infrastructure, however, is severely limited at present. The development of such indicators must be considered an ongoing activity that will require expansion and refinement. A number of recent consensus reports suggest four priorities for indicators that portray the impacts of climate change, climate-related extreme events, and other driving forces on infrastructure. These are changes in the reliability of infrastructure services and the implications for costs; changes in the resilience of infrastructures to climate and other stresses; impacts due to the interdependencies of infrastructures; and ongoing adaptation in infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1795-1813
Number of pages19
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Indicators
  • Interdependencies
  • Reliability
  • Resilience
  • US infrastructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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