Transport, Infrastructure and Building Slovakia
Vulnerabilities - Slovakia
Expected climate change will affect basic types of transport as follows (1):
- The general increase in air temperature will positively affect the transport sectors that are most vulnerable to frost and snow, i.e. road transport, inland navigation and air transport. Increase in snow precipitation totals can be expected during winter in mountain areas in the central and south of Slovakia. Decrease in snow precipitation totals, numbers of frost days or days with glaze can be expected in lowlands.
- Warming causes the increase in number and intensity of extreme meteorological phenomena that directly affects all kinds of transport.
- The increase in air humidity in colder seasons may have negative impacts due to more frequent creation of fog, icing and black ice. In particular road transport, but also air transport, will be affected negatively by these effects.
- Inland navigation on the Danube, the Morava and lower part of the Vah rivers will be affected negatively by the decrease in flows during summer, but alos by heavy rains in summer along with steep increase in water level. Water transportation on the Danube depends on expected climate change in the upper flow catchment and the right tributaries in the Alps.
- It is expected that road transport and inland navigation will be affected the most and railways and pipelines seem to be affected the least by climate change.
The changing climate has the potential regionally to increase premature deterioration and weathering impacts on the built environment, exacerbating vulnerabilities to climate extremes and disasters and negatively impacting the expected and useful life spans of structures (7).
Small increases in climate extremes above thresholds or regional infrastructure ‘tipping points’ have the potential to result in large increases in damages to all forms of existing infrastructure nationally and to increase disaster risks (8). Since infrastructure systems, such as buildings, water supply, flood control, and transportation networks often function as a whole or not at all, an extreme event that exceeds an infrastructure design or ‘tipping point’ can sometimes result in widespread failure and a potential disaster (9).
Due to more frequent and more extreme floods, retention volumes and dam safety will have to be re-assessed (1).
For road transport the infrastructure in dangerous sections needs to be improved and modernized, and the construction of motorways needs to be continued. Rivers must be adapted in order to provide suitable navigation conditions during the whole year (1).
Soviet-era panel-style buildings are an important consideration when planning for climate change in the region. Most block flats, which were designed to have a lifespan of about thirty years, already were in disrepair at the time the regimes fell (2). Bulgaria, for instance, recently indicated that 10% of its panel dwellings were in need of urgent repairs (2) while the Slovak Ministry of Construction estimated that it would cost over 10.3 billion Euros and take more than thirty years to complete the structural repairs necessary to ensure the safety of these buildings (3).
Although they are in need of basic renovation, there is growing evidence that panel buildings, both block flats used for housing and public buildings of similar construction, have the potential to be efficiently renovated and to incorporate energy-saving retrofits. The major aspects of retrofitting focus on energy-saving measures. These include thermal insulation, replacement windows, and modernization of central heating systems. In addition to these measures, green roofing is being tested as a further means for improving the quality of living spaces as well as a way to manage fluctuations in precipitation. Studies suggest that rooftop gardens:
- help to control interior temperature, by decreasing the heat entering and exiting a building through the roof, and thus reduce energy demand (4). Widespread introduction of gardens will add to urban greenspace and, in the process, help moderate heat island effects.
- can reduce the level of runoff and moderate the potential of flooding during heavy rainfall (4,5).
- assist in harvesting rainwater. The basic idea is that rainwater is filtered into storage tanks and then used for non-potable activities such as laundry, toilets, and watering plants (6).
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Slovakia.
- Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (2009)
- Iliev and Yuksel (2004), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- CiJ (2008), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Bass and Baskaran (2001), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Hadley and Carter (2006), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Auld (2008b); Larsen et al. (2008); Stewart et al. (2011), all in: IPCC (2012)
- Coleman (2002); Munich Re (2005); Auld (2008b); Larsen et al. (2008); Kwadijk et al. (2010); Mastrandrea et al. (2010), all in: IPCC (2012)
- Ruth and Coelho (2007); Haasnoot et al. (2009), both in: IPCC (2012)