AT&T Has Developed Tool To Assess Risk To Prepare For Extreme Climatic Events

The American telecommunications company seeks to protect its infrastructure from disastrous weather conditions followed by disasters that cost them in past.

The Texas based telecommunications company with the help of scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory seeks to protect its infrastructure from disastrous climatic conditions. In the recent past, AT&T estimated the long term threats that climatic conditions could pose on its investment. The company has significant equipment such as cell towers which are vulnerable to floods and copper wires which can be destroyed by the storms. The telecommunications company has already spent US$ 847 dollars since 2016 in repairing the destruction caused by natural disasters.

Thus, the company approached the Argonne National Laboratory where Rao Kotamarthi, chief scientist in the environmental sciences division along with his team spend hours on supercomputing to figure out how the climatic risks can affect the company. The conventional models work at sixty two mile scale covering major chunks of North America,  which clearly gives a larger picture of the happenings however, minute details of each block cannot be studied precisely. The Argonne National Laboratory managed to reduce the model scale to up to eight miles and to study the flooding data, up to two hundred meters. Analyzing and estimating such small scale data requires immense computing power and drains time and energy, thereby being expensive.

Thus, the team of scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory gave the significant information to the telecommunications company which used the data to show their key equipment such as copper wires or cell towers. Shannon Carroll, director of environmental sustainability at AT&T says, “You can see the potential impacts of climate change overlaid on that visually.” The ultimate goal of the company is to reduce the overall risks, prepare a map to place the cell towers at positions to avoid damage, minimize repairs and spend minimum on repairing due to natural disasters.

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