Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Although there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and have caused changes on a global scale. One of the most important issues of the complex phenomenon of climate change is the fact that the higher temperatures are increasing the rates of evaporation, causing more weather-related extreme incidents, such as intense storms and heavy rainfalls. Since the frequency, duration and intensity of the rainfalls are related to the instability and/or the erosion of a natural soil slope, it becomes evident that the integrity of an onshore gas pipeline crossing a mountainous or a hilly region may be directly or indirectly affected by the climate change during its lifetime.
Under this perspective, the current paper focuses on the potential impact of climate change on the instability and/or the erosion of natural soil slopes at mountainous or hilly areas, and subsequently on the integrity of the onshore high-pressure gas pipelines that are crossing these areas. The results illustrate that the impact may be either detrimental or beneficial, depending on the local site conditions and the prevailing circumstances.
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