• Predicting Power Failures Which Could Lead to Wildfires

    Imagine a tool that can discover problems on utility lines before outages, before power failures spark deadly wildfires, or before fears of wildfires prompt massive, pre-emptive power outages such as those suffered recently by millions of Californians. Well, the tool exists. It is available today. And it works.

  • The Earth Needs Multiple Methods for Removing CO2 from the Air to Avert Worst of Climate Change

    Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are higher than at any time in human history, and nine of the warmest years have occurred since 2005. “Avoiding catastrophic impacts on our coastal infrastructure, biodiversity, food, energy and water resources will require more. In particular, many climate researchers like myself believe government needs to advance technology that will actually suck carbon dioxide out of the air and put it away for very long periods,” David Goldberg writes.

  • Harnessing Nature’s Defenses against Tsunamis

    As sea levels rise and adverse weather events become more common, vulnerable coastal communities are at increasing risk of devastation from storm surges and tsunamis. The death toll from tsunamis, at 260,000 during the past century, was higher than that from any other natural hazard. Researchers say that biodiversity can help in protecting coastal communities.

  • Greenland’s Ice Loss “Faster Than Expected”

    Greenland is losing ice faster than in the 1990s and is tracking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s high-end climate scenario. As a result, 40 million more people will be exposed to coastal flooding by 2100.

  • Protecting Bridge During Catastrophic Earthquakes

    More than one million people have died in the 1,800 magnitude 5+ earthquakes recorded worldwide since 2000. Bridges are the most vulnerable parts of a transport network when earthquakes occur, obstructing emergency response, search and rescue missions and aid delivery, increasing potential fatalities.

  • Could the New Zealand Volcanic Eruption Have Benn Predicted?

    The agency that monitors geological activity in New Zealand, GeoNet, had issued warnings that a volcano off the country’s North Island was showing signs of “moderate volcanic unrest” but it might not have been possible to predict that it would suddenly erupt on Monday, according to geologists.

  • No More Survivors Expected after New Zealand Volcano Erupts

    Five people were confirmed dead and eighteen others injured, with many more missing, after a volcano erupted on Monday afternoon while dozens of cruise ship passengers were exploring White Island, a small, picturesque, uninhabited island of the coast of New Zealand.

  • Why White Island Erupted and Why There Was No Warning

    By Shane Cronin

    White Island is one of several volcanoes in New Zealand that can produce sudden explosive eruptions at any time. In this case, magma is shallow, and the heat and gases affect surface and ground water to form vigorous hydrothermal systems. In these, water is trapped in pores of rocks in a super-heated state. Any external process, such as an earthquake, gas input from below, or even a change in the lake water level can tip this delicate balance and release the pressure on the hot and trapped water. The resulting steam-driven eruption, also called a hydrothermal or phreatic eruption, can happen suddenly and with little to no warning.

  • Low Frequency Sound May Predict Tornado Formation

    How can you tell when a storm is going to produce a tornado even before the twister forms? Research indicates that prior to tornado formation, storms emit low-frequency sounds.

  • The Challenges Facing Fisheries Climate Risk Insurance

    The world’s first “Fisheries Index Insurance” scheme, launched by an international consortium in July, is a sovereign-level instrument designed to protect Caribbean fishing communities from extreme weather events which may become more frequent and intense due to climate change. But insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.

  • Flash Flooding Is a Serious Threat in the U.K. – Here’s How Scientists Are Tackling Its Prediction

    By Christopher J White, Laura Kelly, and Linda Speight

    Surface water flooding is what happens in built-up areas when heavy rainfall has nowhere to go. Unable to enter a watercourse or drainage system, the water instead flows over the ground causing flash flooding. Unlike river and coastal flooding, which can be widespread, surface water flooding presents unique challenges because it’s difficult to predict the location, timing and impact of what are typically localized events. As the climate changes and urban populations grow, the number of people at risk of surface water flooding increases.

  • Arctic “Ice Management” Delays, but Not Negate, Climate Change Effects

    According to a much-debated geoengineering approach, both sea-ice retreat and global warming could be slowed by using millions of wind-powered pumps, drifting in the sea ice, to promote ice formation during the Arctic winter. Researchers say that the approach could potentially put off ice-free Arctic summers for a few more decades, but beyond that, the Arctic the massive campaign wouldn’t produce any meaningful cooling effect.

  • Early Climate Models’ Global Warming Predictions Were Spot-On

    Climate skeptics have long raised doubts about the accuracy of computer models that predict global warming, but it turns out that most of the early climate models were spot-on, according to a look-back by climate scientists.

  • Invasive Grasses Are Fueling Wildfires Across the U.S.

    By Emily Fusco

    People alter fire regime patterns by adding ignition sources, such as campfires or sparking power lines; suppressing fires when they develop; and introducing nonnative invasive plants. My research suggests that nonnative invasive grasses may be fueling wildfires across the United States. Some fires are occurring in areas that rarely burn, like the Sonoran Desert and the semiarid shrublands of the Great Basin, which covers most of Nevada and parts of five surrounding states. In the coming months, some of the grasses that help feed these blazes will germinate, producing tinder for future fires.

  • Bolstering Florida’s Flood Resilience

    Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science have received a $1,688,955 grant from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) for a pilot project to create a framework for their Watershed Planning Initiative. In 2017, Florida had 1.7 million flood insurance policies included in the Presidential Emergency Declaration. This is roughly 35 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program policies across the country and serves as an indicator of the impact of Hurricane Irma on the National Flood Insurance Program.