Climate Change: How It Will Affect The World’s Pavement

The world is a system, and that system runs on the movement of goods, services, ideas, cultures, and people. Like the sea and the air, our roads and highways are veins of life for 21st-century commerce.

The climate crisis, however, is proving itself to be one of this century’s most foreboding tribulations. As the climate worsens, it will leave nothing untouched, especially not the precious roads we use each and every day. 

In this blog, we’ll take a brief look at how experts believe climate change will affect our current roadway infrastructure and how we can hope to adapt. 

Sea Levels & Pavement Deterioration 

Rising sea levels are probably the most ubiquitous side effect of climate change. As the Arctic and the Antarctic continue to shed massive chunks of ice into the sea, sea levels will rise, putting hundreds of millions at risk.

Coupled with higher precipitation and the likelihood for more violent natural disasters, pavements will deteriorate fast. Pavement makeup differs depending on the local climate, but those predictions may be outdated within 10-20 years. 

The extent to which pavement will deteriorate will depend city to city, but most cities near water will need to reevaluate how they make and maintain pavement. 

Rising Temperatures and Extreme Max Temperatures

Most climate models predict rising global temperatures in the coming decades, with shocking examples of the rise being documented daily. There’s also projected to be more extremes in temperature, meaning colder colds and hotter hots in some places. 

Pavement is made with temperatures in mind; the pavement in northern Minnesota will be different than the pavement in Miami, for example. If the average temperatures in a given region rise above what is normally predicted, the pavement could rut and shove. 

Rut-resistant binders or more rigid pavement may be a good solution, but further research is needed to find the best solutions for this problem. 

Borrowing From Other Climates

As climates change, the best way to ensure that the right pavement is used would be to look at cities or areas that already have a certain climate. Since those areas have already adapted to their current climate, they would provide valuable insight into how to adapt moving forward. 

Looking into projected long-term changes could also help cities plan and acquire pavement that will be effective given even the worst projections. That way, the change in temperatures and weather events won’t be quite as detrimental. 

Rick’s Paving: Adapting To Climate Change

Here at Rick’s Paving and Sealing, we are closely monitoring how climate change will affect the Southwest and how pavement will have to adapt as a result. When you choose us, you’re guaranteed to receive paving and sealing with the future in mind. 

In 2020 and beyond, choose Rick’s Paving to get the job done!