• From Bush Fires to Terrorism: How Communities Become Resilient

    The world has watched in sympathy as Australia has come to terms with the ravages of the worst bush fires on record. Communities have been devastated by this crisis, but many have shown incredible resilience in banding together to support one another through the harrowing experience. Challenges to communities come in many guises – social, political, economic, climatic, technological and cultural. Our study looked at ways of building community resilience in response to extreme events.

  • Before We Rush to Rebuild after Fires, We Need to Think about Where and How

    Public support for rebuilding in the same disaster affected places is often high. But as fire-fighting agencies are aware, our bushfires are increasing in size, intensity and duration, and a warming climate will continue to worsen these factors. We need to start being more strategic about where we rebuild homes and facilities lost to fire, and how.

  • The Prospects of Climate Engineering

    Climate engineering may offer a last-ditch technological solution to catastrophic climate change, but who makes the decisions on which solutions to implement, and who the beneficiaries will be? Once we start fiddling with the Earth’s fundamental processes, where will it end?

  • Tropical 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 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.

  • On 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.”

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

    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.

  • The 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.

  • 2019: 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.

  • The 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.

  • Ways 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.

  • Climate 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.

  • Extreme 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.

  • New 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.

  • Australia’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.”