Infrastructure Interdependencies in Extreme Heat Emergencies [video]
Seager, Thomas P.
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The city of Phoenix AZ set new all-time record-breaking temperatures at 119F during June 2017. Although unprecedented, the nearly week-long heat wave passed without extraordinary incident. Some regional flights were grounded, as smaller jets were unable to operate, and new all-time highs were established in electrical power demand, but adverse health effects failed to match the temperature extremes, as water, power, roadway transportation, communication, emergency response and other infrastructure systems continued reliable operation. By contrast, deadly heat waves in less extreme locations, such as Chicago in 1995 and northern Europe in 2003, have killed tens of thousands. This presentation describes pathways of disruption in coupled energy, water, and transportation systems that, if experienced during an extreme heat event, would be catastrophic for the City of Phoenix. Results emphasize the need for enhanced adaptability and flexibility of existing infrastructure systems that account for climate non-stationarity and infrastructure interdependencies. Mitigating vulnerability will require innovative solutions to protect populations from extreme heat, even in the case of massive and cascading infrastructure failures.
NPS Defense Energy Seminar
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