As climate changes, small increases in rainfall may cause widespread road outages

rainfall
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

As more rain falls on a warming planet, a new computer model shows that it may not take a downpour to cause widespread disruption of road networks. The model combined data on road networks with the hills and valleys of topography to reveal "tipping points" at which even small localized increases in rain cause widespread road outages.

The findings, which were tested using data from the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston area, were published today in Nature Communications.

"To prepare for climate change, we have to know where flooding leads to the biggest disruptions in transportation routes. Network science typically points to the biggest interactions, or the most heavily traveled routes. That's not what we see here," said Jianxi Gao, an assistant professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and lead author of the study. "A little bit of flood-induced damage can cause abrupt widespread failures."

Gao, a scientist, worked with environmental scientists at Beijing Normal University and a physicist at Boston University to reconcile traditional models that predict how specific disruptions impact a network with environmental science models that predict how topography influences flooding. Traditional network science predicts continuous levels of damage, in which case knocking out minor roads or intersections would cause only minor damage to the network. But because of how water flows over land, adding topographical information yields a more accurate prediction.

In Florida, an increase from 30mm to 35mm of rainfall knocked out 50 percent of the road network. And in New York, Gao found that runoff greater than 45mm isolated the northeastern part of the state from the interior of the United States.

In the Hunan province of China, an increase from 25mm to 30mm of rainfall knocked out 42 percent of the provincial road network. In the Sichuan province, an increase from 95mm to 100mm in rainfall knock out 48.7 percent of the provincial road network. And overall, and an increase from 160mm to 165mm of rainfall knocked out 17.3 percent of road network in China and abruptly isolated the western part of mainland China.

The researchers validated their model by comparing predicted results with observed road outages in Houston and South East Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey. Their model predicted 90.6 percent of reported road closures and 94.1 percent of reported flooded streets.

"We cracked the data. Hurricane Harvey caused some of the most extensive road outages in U.S. history, and our predicted that damage," Gao said. "Adding 3-D information causes more unusual failure patterns than we expected, but now we have developed the mathematical equations to predict those patterns."


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Journal information: Nature Communications

Citation: As climate changes, small increases in rainfall may cause widespread road outages (2019, May 8) retrieved 22 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-climate-small-rainfall-widespread-road.html
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May 08, 2019
build new roads and stop complaining about something you can do nothing, that's right, nothing about. The Climate ChangesĀ®Ā© that's what chaotic systems do.

May 08, 2019
better add it to the list

http://www.whatre...ng2.html

by the way, big brother is watching here [ HI GUYS ! FU } , since i've been posting that link its being hidden by goog

May 08, 2019
Alarmists NEVER talk about the benefits of increased CO2. Increased CO2 is a good thing.

May 08, 2019
And, in other news.
AGW Cult "scientists" discover that water flows downhill and hope to confirm that it make things wet.

May 08, 2019
by the way, big brother is watching here
AND the image of a supernova that looked just like the 'black hole' i had found easily and posted here on the black hole photo thread is now gone

May 11, 2019
by the way, big brother is watching here
AND the image of a supernova that looked just like the 'black hole' i had found easily and posted here on the black hole photo thread is now gone
Da Schneibo removed it, he's an embedded Physorg Moderator, he's removed or changes a lot of stuff.

May 11, 2019
Ah, Benni, you've discovered that DS is part of the Deep Mod. Whatever will the secret cabal of lizard aliens do now?

May 12, 2019
Ah, Benni, you've discovered that DS is part of the Deep Mod. Whatever will the secret cabal of lizard aliens do now?


I have long suspected that DS is an alien lizard. He talks about his kind a lot and often refers to mind-reading aliens. Wondering now if his lizard brethren were responsible for all of the cattle mutilations occurring for many years. They just cut off pieces of cow and leave the rest. The odd thing is that no blood is found in the area. Pretty wasteful, those aliens.

Hmm is that Nessie in that photo?

May 12, 2019
What no one so far has articulated is what will happen to septic tanks.

Doubtless we'll see the standard liar/denyer bullshit.

As the floods cascade down "Trump country."

Houston and Louisiana last I heard.

Enjoy,

May 12, 2019
TrollianDaSchneib
What no one so far has articulated is what will happen to septic tanks.

Doubtless we'll see the standard liar/denyer bullshit.

As the floods cascade down "Trump country."

Houston and Louisiana last I heard.

Enjoy,

TrollianDaSchneib, when these conspiracies in these forums emerge
when these sources of these conspiracies is sought
these paths always lead to river banks with bridges over babbling brooks
where an aged wise trollian resides
TrollianDaSchneib, you must feel a sense of pride when one and makes a beeline for your bridge for to source these conspiracies
for as you sit on your river bank, in the safety of your bridge recovering from this winter finrot
Handing down your rivers of thoughts, to your worshipping pilgrims, paying homage at your bridge

p.s. we are awaiting your full recovery from your torments of finrot, TrollianDaSchneib

May 12, 2019
Flooding septic tanks is not a conspiracy. It's just stinking floating sewage.

May 12, 2019
daschneib is having septic problems again , call Rotorooter !

please help, its backed up and over flowing his brain onto these pages !

May 12, 2019
Tellin' ya, better watch out for the sewage rope gangs, liar denier.

May 12, 2019
things r tough in Miami , Global Warming has ruined real estate [ not]

http://www.norada...-market/

and here is a nice youtube series to watch , this one @ 8 min shows how miserable life is in palm beach due to GW

https://www.youtu...p;t=670s


May 12, 2019
Small increases? Rainfall more than doubled here last year. On track for the same this year. 20 year trend is more rain, with heavier downpours. Its been costing homeowners a lot of money. $30k for me so far.
Deniers, do the world a favor and just die. You are worse than worthless anyhow.

May 13, 2019
Small increases? Rainfall more than doubled here last year. On track for the same this year. 20 year trend is more rain, with heavier downpours. Its been costing homeowners a lot of money. $30k for me so far.
Deniers, do the world a favor and just die. You are worse than worthless anyhow.
says Zzzzzit

Too much rain? I hear there is plenty of prime real estate in Death Valley. You might find your permanent home there.
Northern California/Sierra Nevada mountains had a tremendous amount of snowfall this past winter, so that now the farmers can't complain anymore about the drought. Pientiful water. Great news.
LOL One thing is for sure. Nobody is ever satisfied.
complain complain complain - bitsch and moan - oh, woe is me - life is so horrible

May 13, 2019
Yep, sure must be nice to live in Miami: https://www.miami...115.html

May 13, 2019
no bias ?
Alex Harris covers climate change for the Miami Herald, including how South Florida communities are adapting to the warming world. She attended the University of Florida.

https://www.voter...w-sewage

subsidence 3mm/yr
http://www.ces.fa...nski.pdf

May 13, 2019
Where's the "bias" in covering septic tanks overwhelmed by tides from global warming?

Maybe you'd like to go shout at the sewage in peoples' front yards. You can shake your fist too. "Damn you, global warming!" I'm sure that will impress the homeowners a lot.

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