Rising sea levels will impact key coastal marine ecosystems, coral reefs, mangroves, and salt marshes, through inundation and enhanced coastal erosion rates. Regional impacts will be influenced by local vertical land movements and will be exacerbated where the inland migration of ecosystems is limited by coastal development and infrastructure. {5.2}

Infrastructure Impacts

Climate change impacts on infrastructure—including transportation, buildings, and energy—are primarily driven by changes in the frequency and intensity of temperature extremes and heat waves, heavy rainfall and snow events, and sea level rise. Many impacts are directly tied to changes in climate thresholds, such as number of days above or below a certain temperature, or amount of rainfall accumulated in a 24-hour period, rather than mean temperatures. Extreme events confront infrastructure with conditions outside the range for which they were built; to the extent that these extreme events increase in a given region, vulnerability of infrastructure will increase. Studies clearly document substantial economic damages from past extreme events, but it is currently difficult to generalize any relationships between temperature change and the magnitude and/or cost of impacts across regions and sectors. {5.5}

Local conditions can magnify the susceptibility of infrastructure to climate-related impacts. High-risk locations include the Arctic and low-lying coastlines. Climate change impacts have already been observed in high-latitude and high-elevation areas built on permanently frozen ground. Impacts include increasing coastal erosion and shoreline damage from storms as sea ice retreats; and land-based impacts including a shorter land travel season and formation of cracks and sinkholes in the ground from melting permafrost. A significant amount of infrastructure is located in low-elevation regions at risk of flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge. Infrastructure in coastal areas includes cities, power stations, water treatment plants, roads and highways, homes and buildings, and oil and gas lines. {5.5}

Climate change is expected to increase electricity demand and affect production and reliability of supply. Observed correlations between daily mean near-surface air temperature and electricity demand suggest warmer summer temperatures, and more frequent, severe, and prolonged extreme heat events could increase demand for cooling energy. Increases in peak demand could be most severe in already heavily air-conditioned regions. At the same time, high temperatures combined with drought can threaten the



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