Simulation Model for Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Transportation and the Economy in Canada

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts


Weather related delays, Weather conditions, Trucking, Truck transportation, Trade, Simulation, Regional economics, Random utility models, Motor truck transportation, Interregional analysis, Global warming, Freight transportation, Freight trains, Economic impacts, Computer simulation, Commodity flow, Commerce, Climatic changes, Climate change, Canada, Adverse conditions


It is widely argued that severe weather events and episodes of poor weather conditions (cold snaps and heat waves) have significant impact on regional economies and transportation systems. Several studies have focused on quantifying this relation from observed data. However, little has been done to simulate and assess the long-term impacts of climate change on regional transportation systems and economies. This is because of the lack of simulation models that are able to link changes in weather events to transportation system performance and interregional trade flows. This paper reports on the development of CLIMATE-C, a tool for simulation of the assessment of the impact of climate on transportation and the economy in Canada. Linkages between transportation and the economy are handled through a random utility-based multiregional input–output model (RUBMRIO), which predicts interregional trade flows by truck and rail among the 76 economic regions of Canada for 43 commodities. But the influence of weather on transportation is handled through speed adjustment factors that account for the reduction in travel speeds because of changes in the frequency of various weather events. Therefore, changes in the frequency of weather events translate into travel delays, which in turn influence trade flows between regions. Sensitivity analysis with the implemented model illustrated its ability to assess the impact of climate change on transportation and the economy in Canada.