• Costly disastersTropical Cyclones Causing Billions in Losses Dominate 2019 Natural Catastrophe Picture

    Natural catastrophes cause overall losses of $150 billion, with insured losses of about $52 billion. Severe typhoons in Japan cause the year’s biggest losses. Hurricane Dorian, the strongest hurricane of the year, devastates the Bahamas, but the U.S. mainland was largely spared. Humanitarian tragedy caused by cyclones in Mozambique, with more than 1,000 deaths.  – Better protection is urgently needed

  • Climate crisisClimate Change will Take Increasingly Heavier Toll on People’s Welfare, Security: Experts

    The World Economic Forum has just issued its annual Global Risk Report, based on input from more than 750 global experts and decision-makers, who were asked to rank their biggest concerns in terms of likelihood and impact on the welfare and security of people around the world. For the first time in the survey’s 10-year outlook, the top five global risks in terms of likelihood are all related to the environment: intensification of extreme weather events; failure of climate mitigation and adaptation; increasing human-induced damage to the environment; ecosystem collapse; growing vulnerability of more people to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and geomagnetic storms.

  • PerspectiveOn A Hotter Planet, We Are All Australians

    Warm the human body by 7 degrees Fahrenheit and death ensues. David Spratt writes that on the Paris Agreement emissions trajectory, the entire world is heading for around 7 degrees Fahrenheit of warming once system feedbacks are included. The Lancet wrote: “Without immediate and efficient climate action, catastrophic bushfires will become a common disaster and might destroy the future of Australia and possibly of humanity.” Spratt says: “On a hotter planet, we are all Australians, one way or another. And the fire season is far from over.”

  • EarthquakesEarthquake Forecast for Puerto Rico: Dozens More Large Aftershocks Are Likely

    By Richard Aster

    The physics of earthquakes are astoundingly complex, but our abilities to forecast future earthquakes during a strong sequence of events in real time is improving. Forecasting earthquakes is not a strict prediction – it’s more like a weather forecast, in which scientists estimate the likelihood of future earthquake activity based on quakes that have already occurred, using established statistical laws that govern earthquake behavior.

  • Climate crisisThe Heat Human Activity Has Added to World’s Oceans in the Past 25 Years Is Equivalent to 3.6 Billion Hiroshima-Size Bombs

    The Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules. The amount of heat mankind has put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions. A new analysis shows the world’s oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history, especially between the surface and a depth of 2,000 meters. The new studyalso concludes that the past ten years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, with the past five years holding the highest record.

  • Climate crisis2019: 2nd Wettest Year on Record for U.S.; $14 Billion Climate Disasters

    It was another year of record-making weather and climate for the U.S. in 2019, which was the second wettest behind 1973. Fourteen billion-dollar disasters that struck the U.S. last year included Hurricane Dorian, historic flooding and severe storms.

  • ArgumentThe Lessons from Australia’s Fires

    You might think that Australia is particularly vulnerable to forest fires. But that would be a mistake. Many other countries share the same conditions that have set Australia ablaze, physically and politically, including similar terrain and a leadership that has yet to wake up fully to the new reality that climate change is creating.

  • ResilienceWays to Strengthen the Resilience of Supply Chains After Hurricanes

    A new report from the National Academies of Sciences recommends ways to make supply chains — the systems that provide populations with critical goods and services, such as food and water, gasoline, and pharmaceuticals and medical supplies – more resilient in the face of hurricanes and other disasters, drawing upon lessons learned from the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

  • WildfiresClimate Change to Make Wildfires in Oregon's Blue Mountains More Frequent, Severe

    Under a warming climate, wildfires in Oregon’s southern Blue Mountains will become more frequent, more extensive and more severe, a new study finds. The researchers urge forest managers to continue to reduce fuel continuity through accelerated rates of thinning and prescribed burning to help reduce the extent and severity of future fires.

  • WildfiresExtreme Conditions Created “Perfect Storm” for Catastrophic Aussie Fires

    An Australian fire expert says her analyses of bushlands around Sydney in the final months of 2019 indicated that the landscape was primed for these catastrophic fires—but it was series of other conditions, all happening concurrently, that ultimately led to the disaster. The recent drought conditions were key to creating the “perfect storm” that allowed all other pre-conditions to occur concurrently.

  • WildfiresNew Wildfire Reality: Helping Land Managers Take Risk-Analysis Approach

    New digital tools will enable land managers to better adapt to the new reality of large wildfires through analytics that guide planning and suppression across jurisdictional boundaries that fires typically don’t adhere to.

  • WildfiresAustralia’s Fires: The Worst Is Yet to Come

    “Human-caused climate change is most certainly an important contributing factor to the recent fire season in Australia,” says an expert. “What is perhaps most concerning, is that while this year’s fire season, just now underway, appears to be unprecedented, forecasts suggest it will be dwarfed by future conditions.”

  • ResilienceInternational Effort to Improve Urban Resilience

    Extreme climate events are severely affecting communities in the U.S. and around the world. The examples are plenty. Bushfires in Australia, wildfires in California, flooding on both U.S. coasts and inland, and much more. In the face of extreme climate events, experts explore developing nature-based solutions.

  • First respondersResponderCQ Measures Disaster Resilience, Response Capabilities

    Disaster response has dominated headlines for years, and technologies to enhance disaster response capabilities are rapidly emerging. Now, a new global dialogue is centering on resilience—how we not only come together to help communities quickly recover, and even thrive, post-disaster, but how we strengthen their defenses against future threats. DHS S&T funded the development of guidance and tools to help communities measure their “Capability Quotient (CQ),” which is the readiness to respond to risk and to respond to disruptions of any kind.

  • Climate crisisClimate Change Intensified Hurricane Florence’s Precipitation and Size

    found that Hurricane Florence produced more extreme rainfall and was spatially larger due to human-induced climate change. Previous research has suggested that human influences such as emission of greenhouse gasses that alter climate does affect precipitation in extreme storms. The research in this study, however, is a first to use a “forecast attribution” framework that enables scientists to investigate the effect of climate change on individual storm events days in advance.