First of Its Kind Argonne Dataset Shows Future Flooding Risk at Neighborhood Level

LEMONT, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new dataset that estimates increased inland flood risk from climate change during the mid-21st century. Their article about the dataset, published in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, looks specifically at a study of the Northeastern United States, but the dataset will soon be applied across the country and can be implemented in any global region.

The first of its kind study performed six decade-long simulations using supercomputing resources at Argonne’s Laboratory Computing Resource Center and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science user facility.

The high-performance computing systems helped achieve a detailed, high-resolution simulation of the nation broken down into remarkably small cells each covering an area of 200 meters by 200 meters (roughly the size of a tennis court). Researchers can now see how flooding might impact individual neighborhoods.

Agencies and industries are now considering climate change policies as extreme precipitation and flooding can pose significant risks to their infrastructures and networks. Specifically, the researchers collaborated with AT&T and the New York Power Authority to help understand what kind of data they sought.

The goal of the partnerships is to help stakeholders make decisions and help answer questions such as if assets, like those that make up the power grid, are at risk of flooding. And how will flooding depths change?

While this study doesn’t cover the Chicago region, it does cover other large urban areas such as Baltimore and New York. The modeling method will soon be updated and applied to research at the Chicago-based DOE Urban Integrated Field Laboratory, Community Research on Climate & Urban Science (CROCUS).

The datasets will provide insights for CROCUS about how climate change may affect flooding potential or drought over the Chicagoland area, which may soon directly impact home insurance and power costs.


Christopher J. Kramer

Head of Media Relations

Argonne National Laboratory
Office: 630.252.5580

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