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Argonne National Laboratory

Sectors and Projects

Climate Risk and Resilience Studies

A wide range of industries and sectors have leveraged Argonne climate models and tools to help manage risk and increase asset resilience.

Energy Systems and Infrastructure

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  • Argonne works with utilities and other infrastructure owners and operators to provide future climate data they can use in their own meteorological and environmental modeling activities. These data inform how they operate and maintain their infrastructure.
  • Regional Electric Grids:
    • Argonne worked with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) to study the impacts to NYISO’s generation and transmission from extreme events – including an extreme winter ice storm and extreme heat.
    • Argonne modeled the impacts of an extreme derecho weather event on the northeaster US electric grid for ISO New England.
    • Argonne’s study of the Midwestern electric grid for PJM Interconnection projected the impacts of extreme ice and winter storms to regional transmission infrastructure.
    • Argonne evaluated the impact of an extreme drought event on thermal power generation in Texas and projected the effects of future extreme droughts on power generation in support of long-term transmission planning for the western U.S.

Water and Coastal

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  • Argonne helps local governments, water utilities, and other infrastructure owners and operators:
    • Assess threats to, vulnerabilities of, and consequences of the disruption of water and wastewater sectors caused by reductions in the water supply from drought.
    • Improve current and develop future drought mitigation programs.
    • Evaluate the development of decision support tools and data sources that can assist in developing infrastructure that is more resilient to drought.

Telecommunications

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  • AT&T: Argonne and AT&T have partnered on a climate resiliency project that helps AT&T better anticipate the potential impacts of extreme weather on its network infrastructure and business operations 30 years into the future. AT&T piloted the project in the Southeastern United States, which had been particularly hard hit by hurricanes, flooding, and high winds; Argonne and AT&T recently expanded this collaboration to encompass the entire United States.

Transportation

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  • Regional entities and government agencies leverage Argonne models of the impacts of future hurricanes and sea-level rise to coastal infrastructure that is critical to transportation and energy supply chains.
  • Argonne has developed hydrological models to help state Departments of Transportation better account for changes in future rainfall and stormwater runoff, which affect river and steam flows, and thus the design of bridges and culverts.

Agriculture and Land Management

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  • Local governments, agencies, and infrastructure owners and operators have partnered with Argonne to identify dependencies, interdependencies, and cascading effects of drought on major agricultural commodities.
  • Argonne builds data pipelines and a data warehouse that pull data from various types of sources – measuring various wildfire indices, transmission line temperature and sag, etc. – to support situational awareness and wildfire risk analysis. Argonne synthesizes these key datasets used in wildfire modeling and mitigation into a single visualization tool that is updated in real time. This allows decision makers to easily see the real-time changes in data that affect the ignition and propagation of wildfires.
Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.

Urban Systems

  • Argonne has assisted regional entities and government agencies by modeling impacts of future hurricanes and sea-level rise to urban systems (e.g., stormwater systems) within coastal towns.

Government

  • The U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (DOD-SERDP) sponsored the development of the climate model Argonne leverages. The project produced dynamically downscaled (12-kilometer plots of land) climate data sets for most of North America, thus providing users with neighborhood-level, actionable information about future climate.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security oversees the Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP), which is a cooperative, non-regulatory assessment program implemented to examine the resilience of critical infrastructure and systems through regional analysis. Argonne has contributed its expertise to many RRAP projects.