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Title: Perspective: The Climate-Population-Infrastructure Modeling and Simulation Fertile Area for New Research

Managing the risks posed by climate change and extreme weather to energy production and delivery is a challenge to communities worldwide. As climate conditions change, populations will shift, and demand will re-locate; and networked infrastructures will evolve to accommodate new load centers, and, hopefully, minimize vulnerability to natural disaster. Climate effects such as sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, force populations to move locations. Displaced population creates new demand for built infrastructure that in turn generates new economic activity that attracts new workers and associated households to the new locations. Infrastructures and their interdependencies will change in reaction to climate drivers as the networks expand into new population areas and as portions of the networks are abandoned as people leave. Thus, infrastructures will evolve to accommodate new load centers while some parts of the network are underused, and these changes will create emerging vulnerabilities. Forecasting the location of these vulnerabilities by combining climate predictions and agent based population movement models shows promise for defining these future population distributions and changes in coastal infrastructure configurations. By combining climate and weather data, engineering algorithms and social theory it has been only recently possible to examine electricity demand responsemore » to increased climactic temperatures, population relocation in response to extreme cyclonic events, consequent net population changes and new regional patterns in electricity demand. These emerging results suggest a research agenda of coupling these disparate modelling approaches to understand the implications of climate change for protecting the nation s critical infrastructure.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Climatology and Weather Forecasting; Journal Volume: 2
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of International Affairs (IA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Climate; critical Infrastructure