• 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

    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

    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.

    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.

  • The Past Decade Saw Exceptional Global Heat, High-Impact Weather

    The year 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activities. Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record. 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

  • 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.

  • Californians Unwilling to Subsidize Wildfire Prevention: Poll

    With blazes raging across the state, smoke impacting the Bay Area and the largest power utility shutting off electricity to avoid ignitions, California is experiencing another devastating fire season. As state, federal and local officials try to figure out what policies to implement to address the state’s wildfire crisis, a new poll reveals where the public stands on regulations and other public policy measures to prevent wildfires.

  • Grid Reliability under Climate Change

    Researchers are using a new modeling approach for infrastructure planning of a long-term electricity grid that considers future climate and water resource conditions.  Those conditions include reduced hydropower production as well as reduced availability of cooling water due to reduced streamflow and increased streamflow temperature.

  • Underwater Telecom Cables to Be Used as Seismic Detection Network

    About 70 percent of Earth’s surface lies under the sea, which means that, until now, most of the Earth’s surface had been largely without early-warning seismic detection stations. Scientists say that fiber-optic cables that constitute a global undersea telecommunications network could one day help in studying offshore earthquakes.