• Crowdsourcing speeds up monitoring of earthquake

    Data produced by Internet users can help to speed up the detection of earthquakes. Fast and accurate information is essential in the case of earthquakes: Epicenter location, depth and magnitude are minimum requirements to reliably estimate their possibly catastrophic consequences.

  • Climate-smart national flood insurance program

    Last month the Midwest faced historic floods that devastated rural communities, drowned farms, contaminated water supplies, and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. As climate change exacerbates the risk of these catastrophic flooding events, Congress can help citizens take these actions to adapt to the risks of climate change by adopting a package of climate-smart reforms for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

  • Increasing household preparedness for disaster

    Face-to-face workshops based on the psychology of behavior change and disaster preparedness can be used to prompt households to take action to protect themselves against disasters such as earthquakes, fires and floods.

  • For a flooded Midwest, climate forecasts offer little comfort

    Floods are triggered by extreme rainfall events, often combined with ground conditions, such as saturated or frozen ground, that make it harder for water to percolate down into soil, which increases runoff. Global warming has the potential to intensify the Earth’s water cycle, which will alter the quantity, frequency, intensity and duration of rain and snowfall. As my research and work by others has shown, all of these changes raise the risk of floods for Midwest states.

  • In disasters, Twitter users with large networks get out-tweeted

    New study shows that when it comes to sharing emergency information during natural disasters, timing is everything. The study on Twitter use during hurricanes, floods and tornadoes offers potentially life-saving data about how information is disseminated in emergency situations, and by whom. Unlikely heroes often emerge in disasters, and the same is true on social media.

  • California hospitals to pay billions for seismic safety upgrades

    California hospitals would need to make substantial investments—between $34 billion and $143 billion statewide—to meet 2030 state seismic safety standards, according to a new report.

  • Few pathways to an acceptable climate future without immediate action: Study

    A new comprehensive study of climate change has painted over 5 million pictures of humanity’s potential future, and few foretell an Earth that has not severely warmed. But with immediate action and some luck, there are pathways to a tolerable climate future, scientists say.

  • Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May

    Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook issued today. The majority of the country is favored to experience above-average precipitation this spring, increasing the flood risk.

  • Rapidly melting tall ice-cliffs may trigger faster sea-level rise

    Glaciers that drain ice sheets such as Antarctica or Greenland often flow into the ocean, ending in near-vertical cliffs. As the glacier flows into the sea, chunks of the ice break off in calving events. Although much calving occurs when the ocean melts the front of the ice, and ice cliff above falls down, a new study presents another method of calving: slumping. And this process could break off much larger chunks of ice at a quicker rate.

  • Measuring progress toward resilience more effectively

    A new report from the National Academies of Sciences recommends steps U.S. communities can take to better measure their progress in building resilience to disasters, including measuring resilience around multiple dimensions of a community, and incentivizing the measurement of resilience. The report also recommends that the National Academies’ Gulf Research Program develop a major, coordinated initiative around building or enhancing community resilience across the Gulf of Mexico region.

  • Geothermal plant caused South Korea’ 2017 tremor

    A rare earthquake in South Korea was triggered by the country’s first experimental geothermal power plant, government officials said Wednesday. The southeastern port city of Pohang was rattled by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake in November 2017— the second-most powerful tremor ever in the normally seismically stable South.

  • Mitigating impact of rising seas, storms along California’s coast

    New coastal modeling research presents state, federal, and commercial entities with varying storm and sea level-rise scenarios to assist with planning for future infrastructure and mitigation needs along the California coast.

  • Droughts caused permanent loss to major California groundwater source

    California’s Central Valley aquifer, the major source of groundwater in the region, suffered permanent loss of capacity during the drought experienced in the area from 2012 to 2015.

  • A new way to sense earthquakes could improve early warning systems

    Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell the difference between life and death. Researchers demonstrate a new earthquake detection method — their technique exploits subtle telltale gravitational signals traveling ahead of the tremors. Future research could boost early warning systems.

  • Potential impacts of future heat waves on humans and wildlife

    Climate change is often talked about in terms of averages — like the goal set by the Paris Agreement to limit the Earth’s temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. What such numbers fail to convey is that climate change will not only increase the world’s average temperature, it will also intensify extreme heat waves that even now are harming people and wildlife.