Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Climate change will stress stormwater drainage systems


Study examines culvert capacity in Keene, NH

The storm that dropped over 10 inches of rain on the Keene, NH area this past weekend will be a more frequent phenomenon due to climate change, according to two New Hampshire researchers. Michael Simpson and Latham Stack headed a research team within the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH. Their recently completed study is groundbreaking because it is the first to identify the specific costs required to prepare for the more intense storms induced by climate change.

According to lead scientist Latham Stack, studies of this kind are crucial to helping communities prepare for the impacts of climate change: "Because of the persistence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the impacts of climate change are now unavoidable. We may have a window of opportunity to prepare civil infrastructures. While expensive, these preparations can be affordable if undertaken far enough in advance."

Just days before the storm that hit the City this weekend, the research team reported their findings to Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Steering Committee. The researchers’ analysis found that current engineering design specifications for culvert sizing are inadequate to handle the rainfall intensities predicted under climate change. The team’s model projected substantial culvert failure in their study area of the White and Black Brook watersheds in the northwest sector of the city.

These culverts will fail because they have insufficient capacity for the increased flow of water coming down the watershed. Undersized culverts act as a dam, causing water to backup and overrun roads. The results are both flooding of neighboring properties and undercutting and erosion damage to culverts and roads.

The research team’s rain gauge on Dunbar Street recorded 11.5 inches falling on Keene in 24 hours during this weekend’s storm. This amount of rain is almost triple the design standard currently used by engineers to size culverts. The resulting damage and flooding, not only in the study’s watersheds but throughout Keene, will have a substantial fiscal impact on the City’s budget. The Antioch study estimated the cost of upgrading culverts and found this to be expensive, but comparatively small in relation to costs incurred by the private and public sectors in the wake of the current storm.

Project leader Michael Simpson noted that "Our research focused only on a small section of Keene, NH, but the model we developed to project climate change induced culvert failures could be applied to any region of the world."

This study makes an important contribution to preparing communities for climate change.

Michael H. Simpson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>