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Suggested Citation:"A Detailed Statement of Task." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 2008. Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation: Special Report 290. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12179.
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APPENDIX A Detailed Statement of Task T his study will focus on and emphasize the consequences of climate change for U.S. transportation and adaptation strategies. It will summarize possible consequences for transportation, such as from sea- level rise, higher mean temperatures with less extreme low temperatures and more hot extremes, and, possibly, more frequent and severe rain events. U.S. transportation options for adapting to impacts will be ana- lyzed, including possible need to alter assumptions about infrastructure design and operations; ability to incorporate uncertainty in long-range decision making; and capability of institutions to plan and act on mitiga- tion and adaptation strategies at the state and regional levels. The study will also provide federal, state, and local transportation officials in the United States with an overview of the scientific consensus regarding climate change—including uncertainty about its nature and extent. Drawing heavily upon analyses already prepared, the study will sum- marize current and projected contributions of transportation to climate change and the potential effects, costs, and benefits of strategies to reduce transportation’s impact. This would include strategies, for example, that affect land use patterns, influence mode choice, and involve alternatively fueled or more efficient motor vehicles. The study will identify critical areas of needed research. The final report will include findings and recommendations regarding needed research and suggested actions to prepare for the possibility of climate change. 209

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TRB Special Report 290: The Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation explores the consequences of climate change for U.S. transportation infrastructure and operations. The report provides an overview of the scientific consensus on the current and future climate changes of particular relevance to U.S. transportation, including the limits of present scientific understanding as to their precise timing, magnitude, and geographic location; identifies potential impacts on U.S. transportation and adaptation options; and offers recommendations for both research and actions that can be taken to prepare for climate change.

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