Sudershan Gangrade: Analyzing a Flood of Data to Prepare for Climate Change

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April 24, 2023 | Originally published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory on April 20, 2023

Climate change often comes down to how it affects water, whether it’s for drinking, electricity generation, or how flooding affects people and infrastructure. To better understand these impacts, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) water resources engineer Sudershan Gangrade is integrating knowledge ranging from large-scale climate projections to local meteorology and hydrology and using high-performance computing to create a holistic view of the future.

In one of his recent projects, Gangrade conducted national-scale hydrologic modeling to study climate change effects on federal hydropower resources. The project analyzed 132 federal facilities that make up about 40% of the nation’s hydropower generation capacity.

To better predict how those facilities will be affected by climate extremes, Gangrade and his fellow researchers in ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division translated global climate change predictions to impacts on local hydrology. The assessment used several models to look at future streamflow, hydropower operations, and reservoir evaporation. The multiple-model approach provides insights to help federal hydropower facilities prepare for uncertainties in a changing climate, and will soon be expanded to nonfederal stakeholders.

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