Resilience: Climate Change

Actionable science for understanding climate risk and designing resilient energy, water, food, and urban systems

The Resilient Systems Grand Challenge seeks to evaluate, develop, and test disruption-ready strategies for ensuring resilience of critical energy, water, food, and built infrastructure systems using advanced modeling and observational capabilities and an integrated understanding of the coupling of the built and natural environment. Ensuring the resilience of critical human systems in the face of climate change and related environmental extremes requires that we make necessary tradeoffs and recognize various uncertainties as it involves multi-system and cross-scale interactions driven by existing vulnerabilities and inequities, aging infrastructure, population growth, land-use change, and disruptive technological change. By quantifying these interdependencies, our science can provide actionable insights into the risks facing our communities, as well as the tradeoffs among different solutions for enhancing resilience.

EESA scientists are developing new fundamental insight and tools for understanding climate extremes. Through new coupled models and data analysis, we are also advancing the science of human-Earth system interactions across multiple sectors and scales. These include fine-scale interactions among the built and natural environments in urban settings, regional water and energy infrastructure systems, as well as global feedbacks between land-use change and climate. Our collaborations with social scientists and resource managers have advanced the science of actionable knowledge, helping demonstrate how the practical needs of resource managers can inform new fundamental science advances needed to characterize uncertainty and risks, evaluate and improve model credibility, and assess multi-objective tradeoffs.

Recent science & program advances

  • Advances in modeling and characterization of hydroclimatic extremes
  • Developed multi-sector modeling capabilities linking atmospheric and hydrologic processes with the built environment, water, and energy systems
  • Used new modeling approaches to predict the evolution of extreme heat risks in cities across California, such as the mitigation potential of cool roofs and landscape irrigation to mitigate warming
  • Implemented new methods for co-producing actionable science with stakeholders and developing decision-relevant metrics for model evaluation
  • Formed public sector partnerships to co-design applications of actionable science



EESA benefits from rich partnerships with our collaborators and sponsors. See project & program links above for more information.

A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Managed by the University of California

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