Environment change is making it necessary to update and upgrade existing infrastructure to survive the harsh consequences of a warming climate, just as new standards demand structures to be designed more sustainably. Increased severity and frequency of severe weather events are one of the most major and devastating impacts of climate change. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has documented a significant increase in heat waves, torrential downpours, wildfires, tropical storms and hurricanes, and tornadoes in the United States during the last several decades.
Severe weather events like this harm existing infrastructure that was not designed with climate change in mind. As a result, towns are proactive in modernizing their infrastructure to prepare for natural catastrophes. The following are some of the major weather disasters affecting infrastructure:
- Wildfires: California, for example, is investing in fire prevention through grants and other measures. The state is investing in jobs like fire break construction and reforestation to prevent enormous expanses of dry and combustible land.
- Excessive Heat: The temperature has risen to the point that roads and rooftops are melting all around the world. To address this issue, communities are upgrading their electricity grids and installing more lasting roofing materials, generating a demand for more experienced personnel in these fields.
- Hurricanes: Because of climate change, hurricanes are becoming substantially more destructive and intense. As a result, municipalities are investing in storm-resistant infrastructure maintenance and construction. These expenditures include hiring additional construction workers to rehabilitate and develop storm-damaged areas.
- Erosion: Coastal storms and high tides have exacerbated the impacts of coastal erosion as sea levels rise. Beach replenishment, a procedure that involves dredging sand from the ocean floor and using it to replace sand lost to erosion, is one method counties are combating coastal erosion. Engineers, designers, and construction workers will be in great demand as beach replenishment plans are developed and implemented.
- Drought: Climate change is also having an impact on power facilities that rely on surface water to cool them. Drought-related effects may hinder energy production for several power facilities as the weather continues to warm. Updating and building new cooling systems in these power plants would not only help to avert droughts but will also create a need for people to upgrade and manage these new systems. Similarly, constructing renewable energy facilities would aid drought resilience while increasing the demand for more qualified people.
Many states have already begun to invest in infrastructure repair and adaptation. As a result, demand for construction and related labor will rise further.