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updated: 2/25/2021 2:55 PM

Argonne helps PG&E plan for climate change

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LEMONT -- Argonne National Laboratory Thursday said its computer models are helping Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plan for climate change impacts, including wildfires.

Patterns of floods, fires, heat waves and hurricanes are shifting, and forward-thinking companies are taking steps to analyze current and future climate-related risks so they can improve the resiliency of their infrastructure, and keep critical services up and running, Argonne said.

To protect the safety of its customers and to support the reliability of its electric grid, PG&E is looking for additional tools to forecast and mitigate wildfire risk. As part of that effort, PG&E is sponsoring research at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory to produce local climate-change models, the agency said.

"Our goal is to translate this huge data set we created into usable data products so that others can use it to estimate their impacts and risk," said Rao Kotamarthi, chief scientist and head of the Department of Atmospheric Science and Climate Research at Argonne.