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Argonne to Lead Collaborative Study of Urban Climate Change in Chicago Region

·2 min read

LEMONT, Ill., September 06, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and a team of academic and community leaders $25 million over five years to study climate change effects at local and regional levels. This new research will empower communities to identify solutions that address future effects of climate change.

Argonne and partners will establish an Urban Integrated Field Laboratory called Community Research on Climate and Urban Science (CROCUS) focusing on the Chicago region. CROCUS will use community input to identify specific areas of urban climate change to study, ensuring that research results directly benefit local residents. CROCUS researchers will also work with organizations and students to collect on-the-ground data and develop climate models.

Chicago is already experiencing disruption from climate change in the form of extreme weather, flooding, drought and heat waves. Unfortunately, the neighborhoods that are most at risk for climate-related disasters have historically been understudied and unable to access the resources or services they need. That’s why CROCUS has strong representation from local organizations to develop its research goals.

Researchers will measure environmental conditions; explore how trees, open spaces, buildings, expressways and Lake Michigan shape Chicago’s climate; and examine how the Chicago area influences climate regionally. The study will create highly detailed climate models to reveal the impact of climate change on individual neighborhoods. This ability to predict how climate will evolve at a much smaller scale—even down to street level—will help communities identify and vet solutions to make neighborhoods resilient against the effects of a changing climate.

Argonne is partnering with local, regional, and national colleges and universities who will recruit and train the next generation of climate and environmental researchers. To address the underrepresentation of people of color in this field of study, the CROCUS collaborative includes minority-serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities. The research team also includes community-based organizations on Chicago’s South and West Sides, ensuring researchers deliver information critical to neighborhoods.

"If we understand how climate and urban systems interact, we can address the challenge in a fair, equitable and sustainable way," said Cristina Negri, director of Argonne’s Environmental Sciences Division and CROCUS lead. "By advancing the science, we can help neighborhoods, governments and communities envision a climate-ready future. We’re all in this together."

CROCUS is funded by the Biological and Environmental Research program in the DOE’s Office of Science.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220906005050/en/


Christopher J. Kramer
Head of Media Relations
Argonne National Laboratory
Office: 630.252.5580