The impact of climate change and weather on transport: An overview of empirical findings

M.J. Koetse, P. Rietveld

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper presents a survey of the empirical literature on the effects of climate change and weather conditions on the transport sector. Despite mixed evidence on many issues, several patterns can be observed. On a global scale especially shifts in tourism and agricultural production due to increased temperatures may lead to shifts in passenger and freight transport. The predicted rise in sea levels and the associated increase in frequency and intensity of storm surges and flooding incidences may furthermore be some of the most worrying consequences of climate change, especially for coastal areas. Climate change related shifts in weather patterns might also cause infrastructure disruptions. Clear patterns are that precipitation affects road safety by increasing accident frequency but decreasing severity. Precipitation also increases congestion, especially during peak hours. Furthermore, an increased frequency of low water levels may considerably increase costs of inland waterway transport. Despite these insights, the net impact of climate change on generalised costs of the various transport modes are uncertain and ambiguous, with a possible exception for inland waterway transport. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-221
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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