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Webinar: Responding to Climate Change Through Geotechnical Engineering Research
Thursday, 03 December 2020, 2:00
Thursday, December 3, 2020. 2:00 PM. Webinar: Responding to Climate Change Through Geotechnical Engineering Research. Andrew Whittle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sponsored by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Register here.
Climate change has wide-ranging ramifications: from rising sea levels and air temperatures; to changes in patterns of precipitation, declines in snow-cover, permafrost and sea-ice; and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events (e.g., hurricanes, floods droughts). This webinar will discuss how geotechnical and geological engineering research might be a crucial part of climate change mitigation and adaptation, building on themes described in 2020 paper by Culligan, Whittle, and Mitchell (see https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-06249-1_1). Geotechnical engineers now contribute to the development of renewable energy resources (e.g., for foundations for offshore wind turbines, integration of ground source heat exchangers in building foundations, rock drilling and fracturing in enhanced geothermal systems), but net-zero emission conditions will require geotechnical research advances to support reliable large-scale terrestrial/geological carbon sequestration and mineralization. Similarly, given the cost of new infrastructure and the uncertainties associated with predicting climate change effects, geotechnical engineers could contribute to new non-structural solutions for climate adaptation. This may be especially applicable to mitigating hazards associated with coastal and surface water flooding and slope instability, ensuring reliable water supplies, and making infrastructure more resilient.