Climate change is currently one of the greatest environmental threats to our world. Activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation have caused huge amounts of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere.
Weâ€™re seeing the results of climate change at both a local and global level. No one will escape the impact of these changes, least of all vulnerable people who will suffer the most. Therefore, addressing climate change through engineering innovation is absolutely crucial to help tackle the problems that weâ€™re facing.
Engineering and climate change
Some of the catastrophic consequences of climate change include global warming, air pollution, more severe floods and storms, heatwaves, droughts and a rise in sea level which can cause destructive erosion and wetland flooding. This then causes further health issues, water resources management issues and a high demand for water and energy.
Wondering how engineers can help fight some of these issues? There are many opportunities for engineers to contribute to climate change solutions in fields such as sustainability, climate resilience, climate risk, climate finance, climate justice, climate hazards and climate change law.
At Mott MacDonald, weâ€™re proud to be working on groundbreaking climate projects throughout the world. Weâ€™re also committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2020 â€“ you can find out more about how
weâ€™re achieving this here.
Read on to find out how some of our climate change teams have made a difference in local communities.
Safeguarding resilient power in Toronto
Due to the increased impact of climate change in recent years, Torontoâ€™s electrical power has been suffering. Toronto was experiencing many electrical failures due to the extreme weather trends caused by changes to the worldâ€™s climate system. Our team needed to come up with an effective resilient power backup power supply to combat any potential failures.
The first step was to understand the full extent of the issues through a risk assessment of the utility, climate change, maintenance and operational risks associated with electrical power systems. By drawing on the expertise of our team, we were able to formulate actionable options that would improve the resilience of the backup power systems that the city had.
Protecting against storms in the char lands
The char islands in Bangladesh are naturally formed by silt from the rivers and are some of the most hostile environments for farmers in the world. The sedimentary mudbanks are ideal for farming but unfortunately are highly vulnerable to extreme erosion and flooding, and cyclonic storms which are caused by climate change.
We were responsible for building new infrastructure that could provide protection against the devastating effects of climate change. This included embankments, water control, sluices, culverts, roads, cyclone shelters, forestry and canals.
Managing reforestation in the Atlantic Forest
Our local team of environmental engineering experts in Brazil carried out the reforestation of an area spanning 265ha in the Atlantic Forest. In total, 21 areas were selected and detailed designs were developed to consider the characteristics of each area, as well as the needs of each property owner. Every solution took into account the weather, materials and equipment conditions.
Because of this, we were able to transform damaged pasture areas into residual forests in the initial regeneration stage lasting 4 years. This project was not only incredibly important for increasing climate resilience in the Atlantic Forest, but our experts were also able to raise community awareness on the importance of maintaining green areas. Additional benefits of our work included carbon capture and storage, water production and landscaping.
We are working on reducing climate change effects on humans and infrastructures. Are you interested in helping us make a positive impact through climate change engineering?
Whether youâ€™re looking for a wind engineering, energy engineering, solar engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering or environmental engineering climate change role, we offer a wide variety of career paths. Browse our range of climate change jobs here.