The EU has recently launched a research project which studies the effects of extreme weather events on the safety and reliability of traffic systems, making it possible to both predict and mitigate disruptions in the transportation of people and goods.
The Extreme weather impacts on European networks of transport (EWENT) projectÂ in question, will also estimate the cost effects of weather-related disruptions. The project is motivated by the concern over the increase in extreme weather events caused by climate change. The study will focus on the safety and reliability of air, ground and water transport as well as on the cost effects of traffic disruptions.
The project will identify dangerous extreme weather events and estimate their probability and effects. It will also estimate the cost effects of traffic disruptions, such as costs associated with human casualties, material damages and discontinued supply chains. The main purpose of the project is to support adaptation to climate change.
The project results may be useful first of all to all European authorities but also to businesses, project financers as well as insurers. The results may be used in the creation of sizing criteria of infrastructures, in the evaluation of needs for enhanced maintenance capabilities, the development of cooperation between authorities and the general preparedness for exceptional conditions. The pre-engineering of co-European and national risk management methods and processes is one of the project's key tasks.
The project will be carried out between 2010 and 2012 with a total budget of is approximately 2 million euros.
The participants of the EWENT project coordinated by VTT are: the German Aerospace Center (Germany), the Institute of Transport Economics (Norway), a private Finnish Consulting company (Finland), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (Finland), the Meteorological Service in Cyprus (Cyprus), an Austrian Company of Transportation on Waterways (Austria), the European Severe Storms Laboratory (Germany) and the World Meteorological Organisation (UN).
The Consultative Board of the project consists of representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, the European Investment Bank, OECD, the Polytechnic University of Turin and a private insurance company.