Working Technical Paper - Transport: Inland Waterways, Ports and Marine Infrastructure in the UK
The port and harbour sector is characterised by variety. The activities of each port or harbour determine the nature of its infrastructure and will affect its capacity to adapt to climate change. Whilst the major ports’ adaptation reports demonstrate a high level of agreement about the nature and likely significance of potential climate change impacts, research is urgently needed to improve understanding of how the many – typically smaller - ports, harbours and marinas relying on older infrastructure will be affected by climate change. Further, a combination of high adaptation costs and low levels of confidence in projected changes for certain critical marine parameters hampers adaptation planning even in the major ports. Research into storm surges, winds and wave, fog and sediment processes therefore remains a high priority
Overall, it seems likely that inland navigation authorities may both face additional challenges and find climate change adaptation comparatively more difficult than many commercial ports. Awareness raising, capacity building, data management and user education are therefore urgent short term priorities.