Title: Forecasting the impacts of climate change on inland waterways
Authors: CHRISTODOULOU ARISCHRISTIDIS PANAYOTISBISSELINK BERNARD
Citation: TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART D-TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT vol. 82 p. 102159
Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC116086
ISSN: 1361-9209 (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC116086
DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2019.10.012
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Inland waterways are vulnerable to climate change as river navigation depends on water levels. Droughts can severely disrupt inland navigation services by reducing water levels either to completely non-navigable ones or to levels that oblige operators to reduce vessel load. We analyse the impacts of droughts induced by climate change using projections of river discharge data provided by eleven different climate model runs. We consider location specific characteristics by focusing the analysis on four specific locations of the Rhine and the Danube where a substantial part of the total freight activity in the European Union (EU) takes place. For the majority of the cases and scenarios considered, a decrease of the number of low water level days is projected, leading to fewer drought related disruptions in the operation of the inland waterway transport system. Although the uncertainties from the climate projections should not be neglected, the navigation sector could benefit from global warming which means that European inland waterways might be one of the few sectors where climate change can have negligible, or even positive, impact. The average economic benefit, for the cases considered, from the decrease of low water levels by the end of the century is projected to be almost €8million annually.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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