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Swarna S T, Hossain K, Pandya H, Mehta Y A. (2021). Assessing Climate Change Impact on Asphalt Binder Grade Selection and its Implications. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.


Anthropogenic climate change is having and will continue to have adverse effects on Canadian weather. Trends in average annual temperatures have been rapidly increasing over the last 50 years. The severe climatic variations in Canada are in line with global changes in climate occurring due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Under the current CO2 emission scenarios, scientists predict the climate trends to further intensify in the near future. It is well known that asphalt binder is highly sensitive to climate factors. Hence, reviewing asphalt binder grade is a vital step, and that can help decelerate pavement deterioration. The objective of this study was to assess the change in asphalt binder grade for the future climate and to determine the influence of change in binder grade on the performance of pavements in Canada. To achieve this, the analysis was carried out in five phases. In the first phase, statistically downscaled climate change models were gathered from the pacific Canada Climate database. Then in the second phase, the temperature and precipitation data were extracted for the selected locations. Later in the third phase, the asphalt binder grade was determined for future climate data. In the fourth phase, the pavement materials, traffic, and structural data were collected from the Long-term Pavement Performance (LTPP) database. Lastly, the pavement performance with the base binder and the upgraded binder were assessed using AASHTOware Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design. The results reemphasize the necessity of upgrading the asphalt binder grade in various provinces of Canada.

Contributors: Swarna S T, Hossain K, Pandya H, Mehta Y A.

Link(s) for the Paper: Journal WebsiteResearchGate