• Floridians to face more frequent, intense heatwaves

    By the late twenty-first century, if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations reach worst-case projections, Floridians could experience summer heatwaves three times more frequently, and each heatwave could last six times longer than at present, according to new research. “More extreme heatwaves in Florida would have profound impacts on human health as well as the state’s economy,” says a researcher.

  • Shake, rattle, and code

    Southern California defines cool. The perfect climes of San Diego, the glitz of Hollywood, the magic of Disneyland. The geology is pretty spectacular, as well. Part of that geology is the San Andreas, among the more famous fault systems in the world. With roots deep in Mexico, it scars California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, where it then takes a westerly dive into the Pacific.

  • Hurricane Maria killed 4,600, not only 64, as official U.S. government figures claim

    Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico last September led to the death of thousands on the island, according to a new study – in sharp contrast with the official U.S. government death toll of 64. A new study concludes that as many as 4,600 “excess deaths” occurred in the aftermath of the storm as a result of failures of medical and other critical infrastructure, and described the official number as “a substantial underestimate.”

  • Trade chains will spread growing China flood problem to U.S. economy

    Intensifying river floods could lead to regional production losses worldwide caused by global warming. This might not only hamper local economies around the globe – the effects might also propagate through the global network of trade and supply chains. One example: Economic flood damages in China, which could, without further adaption, increase by 80 percent within the next twenty years, might also affect EU and U.S. industries. The U.S. economy might be specifically vulnerable due to its unbalanced trade relation with China.

  • Near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season: NOAA

    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal. Forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season, which extends from 1 June to 30 November.

  • U.S. “prepping” culture influenced by events, not apocalyptic visions

    The culture of preparing for disasters in the United States is usually portrayed as a delusional response to the belief in the imminent long-term collapse of society due to irrational fears of foreign invasions, the conspiratorial plans of New World Orders or a religious apocalypse. New research finds most people hoarding items such as food and water do so “just in case,” rather than because of deeply held, irrational beliefs that society is on the verge of an imminent collapse.

  • Big tsunami in the Caribbeans

    Indian Ocean tsunami has researchers reevaluating whether a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake and resulting tsunami might also be a likely risk for the Caribbean region, seismologists reported. Some seismologists “think that several faults in the region could be capable of producing earthquakes of 8.6, and the catastrophic planning by our emergency management community is considering 8.5 and 9.0 earthquakes,” says one researcher.

  • Future hurricanes: Stronger, slower, wetter

    Scientists have developed a detailed analysis of how twenty-two recent hurricanes would be different if they formed under the conditions predicted for the late twenty-first century. While each storm’s transformation would be unique, on balance, the hurricanes would become a little stronger, a little slower-moving, and a lot wetter.

  • Artificial “nose” helps find people buried by earthquakes, avalanches

    Trained rescue dogs are still the best disaster workers – their sensitive noses help them to track down people buried by earthquakes or avalanches. Like all living creatures, however, dogs need to take breaks every now and again. They are also often not immediately available in disaster areas, and dog teams have to travel from further afield.. Scientists have developed the smallest and cheapest ever equipment for detecting people by smell. It could be used in the search for people buried by an earthquake or avalanche.

  • Insurance industry dangerously unprepared for extreme weather

    As historic flooding caused by climate change devastates coastal communities, new research reveals that the insurance industry hasn’t considered a changing climate in their practices, putting homeowners at financial risk.

  • Global warming of 2°C doubles the population exposed to climate risks compared to 1.5°C rise

    New research identifying climate vulnerability hotspots has found that the number of people affected by multiple climate change risks could double if the global temperature rises by 2°C, compared to a rise of 1.5°C. The researchers investigated the overlap between multiple climate change risks and socioeconomic development to identify the vulnerability hotspots if the global mean temperature should rise by 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C by 2050, compared to the pre-industrial baseline.

  • Global warming fueled Hurricane Harvey’s record-breaking precipitation

    In the weeks before Hurricane Harvey tore across the Gulf of Mexico and plowed into the Texas coast in August 2017, the Gulf’s waters were warmer than any time on record, according to a new analysis. These hotter-than-normal conditions supercharged the storm, fueling it with vast stores of moisture. When it stalled near the Houston area, the resulting rains broke precipitation records and caused devastating flooding. “As climate change continues to heat the oceans, we can expect more supercharged storms like Harvey,” says one researcher.

  • The threat of asteroids and comets

    In 1994, astronomers watched in awe as the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into the planet Jupiter, creating massive fireballs exploding with the force of six million megatons of TNT—equivalent to 600 times the world’s nuclear arsenal. What would have happened if it had hit Earth instead of Jupiter?

  • Twitter users likely to spread falsehoods during disasters

    We know that Twitter is littered with misinformation. But how good are the social media platform’s most active users at detecting these falsehoods, especially during public emergencies? Not good, according to researchers who examined more than 20,000 tweets during Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing.

  • Engineers solve the 500-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa mystery

    Why has the Leaning Tower of Pisa survived the strong earthquakes that have hit the region since the middle ages? After studying available seismological, geotechnical and structural information, researchers concluded that the survival of the Tower can be attributed to a phenomenon known as dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI).