UNH research left its mark on the monumental Fourth National Climate Assessment, released in November 2018 by 13 government agencies. Jennifer Jacobs, professor of civil and environmental engineering, led the chapter on transportation, which found that climate change will diminish the ability of our nation’s transportation infrastructure — the backbone of economic activity — to perform reliably, safely and efficiently.
“Sea-level rise, coastal flooding, heavy rain and snow, heat, wild res, freeze-thaw cycles: We know these are all increasing in our changing climate,” says Jacobs, co-director of the national Infrastructure and Climate Network and a leading expert on the effect of climate change on transportation infrastructure. “These impacts are taking a negative toll on our roads, bridges and even rail and air travel networks.”
In addition to Jacobs, several other UNH researchers contributed to the Fourth National Climate Assessment: Jacobs’s Ph.D. student Jayne Knott; Mary Stampone, the Class of 1941 Associate Professor of Geography and New Hampshire State Climatologist; and Joe Salisbury, research associate professor in UNH’s Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory, contributed to the Northeast section. Ph.D. student Melissa Meléndez Oyola contributed to the section on the U.S. Caribbean.