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The Third U.S. National Climate Assessment indicates that seaport infrastructure is already being damaged by sea level rise, heavy downpours, and extreme heat, and that these damages are expected to continue with continued climate change.

To facilitate far-sighted planning for a climate-resilient Marine Transportation System (MTS) the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in collaboration with University of Rhode Island researchers in the Department of Marine Affairs, are piloting a climate-vulnerability indexing method that is driven by data and informed by expert knowledge.

This research will contribute to a better understanding of the regional distribution of climate-vulnerability across North Atlantic ports in order to inform transportation resilience and climate-adaptation planning.

This pilot study will investigate the climate vulnerabilities of seaports by applying expert elicitation methods to develop indicators of climate vulnerability for the 22 medium and high use ports of the USACE North Atlantic Division. In addition to refining a set of high-level indicators of seaport climate vulnerability, this research will employ expert elicitation methods to weight and aggregate selected indicators to determine the suitability of available data to differentiate ports within a region in terms of relative climate vulnerabilities.

Results will serve as an entry point to inform MTS decision-makers in the USACE and other agencies about the nature of seaport climate change vulnerability, its components and determinants, the mechanisms through which a port is vulnerable, and the suitability of available data to serve as high-level indicators of seaport climate vulnerability. Ultimately, this research will support climate resilient national and regional transportation policy.

Two published reports are associated with this data set:

- Report Number: ERDC/CHL CR-19-2

Title: Measuring Climate and Extreme Weather Vulnerability to Inform Resilience, Report 1: A Pilot Study for North Atlantic Medium- and High-Use Maritime Freight Nodes

By R. Duncan McIntosh, Elizabeth L. Mclean, and Austin Becker


- Report Number: ERDC/CHL CR-19-3

Title: Measuring Climate and Extreme Weather Vulnerability to Inform Resilience, Report 2: Port Decision-Makers' Barriers to Climate and Extreme Weather Adaption

By Elizabeth L. Mclean and Austin Becker


USACE_URI_PortStudy.pdf (492 kB)
Study description

2017 Data Dictionary VAS Survey.pdf (1076 kB)
Data Dictionary 2017