• WargamesBenefits of next-generation wargames

    Technological advances for game engines and cloud architectures are fueling the development of next-generation wargames that can increase insights for policymakers. Researchers say that the new technologies are making wargame tools more accessible and providing strategists with more insights.

  • Water securitySierra snowpack could drop by nearly 80% by end of century

    A future warmer world will almost certainly feature a decline in fresh water from the Sierra Nevada mountain snowpack. Now a new study that analyzed the headwater regions of California’s 10 major reservoirs, representing nearly half of the state’s surface storage, found they could see on average a 79 percent drop in peak snowpack water volume by 2100.

  • FloodsConnected vehicles’ windshield wipers could help prevent flooding

    We’ve been promised all kinds of benefits from a future of connected vehicles, but flood control? One of your car’s oldest features has been put to a new, high-tech use by University of Michigan researchers. Utilizing a test fleet in the city of Ann Arbor, engineers tracked when wipers were being used and matched it with video from onboard cameras to document rainfall. They found that tracking windshield wiper activity can provide faster, more accurate rainfall data than radar and rain gauge systems we currently have in place.

  • Extreme weatherPreparing for extreme weather

    By Jonathan O'Callaghan

    From high winds and heavy rainfall to droughts and plummeting temperatures, people in Europe have already begun to feel the effects of extreme weather. As we get used to this new reality, scientists are investigating how it will affect how we get around and whether our infrastructure can cope.

  • Missile defenseAdministration unveils its Missile Defense Review

    Thirty-five years after Ronald Reagan vowed to make nuclear weapons “impotent and obsolete,” the administration has today unveiled its Missile Defense Review – the latest iteration of U.S. efforts to build an effective ballistic missile defense. The Pentagon says that its search for more effective missile defense technologies is the result of its focus on near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia, but the administration’s Missile Defense Review appears more suitable for defending the United States against more limited attacks, such as those likely to come from North Korea or, perhaps, Iran.

  • VaccinesProducing vaccines without the use of chemicals

    Producing vaccines is a tricky task – especially in the case of inactivated vaccines, in which pathogens must be killed without altering their structure. Until now, this task has generally involved the use of toxic chemicals. Now, however, an innovative new technology developed by Fraunhofer researchers – the first solution of its kind – will use electron beams to produce inactivated vaccines quickly, reproducibly and without the use of chemicals.

  • Coastal perilCoastal wetlands need to move inland in fight against climate change

    Up to 30 percent of coastal wetlands could be lost globally as a result of rising sea levels, with a dramatic effect on global warming and coastal flooding, if action is not taken to protect them, new research warns. The global study suggests that the future of global coastal wetlands, including tidal marshes and mangroves, could be secured if they were able to migrate further inland.

  • Airport securityDrone jamming system to protect European airports, public spaces

    Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and bringing down drones that stray into their air space, according to Dan Hermansen, chief technology officer of Danish anti-drone firm MyDefence. The company has developed a drone alarm and protection system that is being installed at a number of prominent sites around Europe, including an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruption that hit London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports recently.

  • AIAmericans’ attitude to AI

    The impact of artificial intelligence technology on society is likely to be large. While the technology industry and governments currently predominate policy conversations on AI, the authors of a new report expect the public to become more influential over time. Understanding the public’s views on artificial intelligence will, therefore, be vital to future AI governance.

  • Future threatsNew policy design required to tackle global environmental threat: Report

    A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle the greatest global environmental threats. A team of international researchers has examined how politicians and legislators can develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change. comes in response to advice from leading scientists, suggesting that the human impact on the environment are already tipping the world into a new geologically significant era.

  • TerrorismThe group dynamics that make terrorist teams work

    By Matthias Spitzmuller

    Acts of terrorism are harrowing and can cause extensive damage and tragic deaths, and they have been occurring with alarming frequency over the last decade. Scholars, governments and analysts have spent a lot of time exploring individual motivations of terrorists. However, terrorist activities are typically performed by groups, not isolated individuals. Examining the role of team dynamics in terrorist activities can elucidate how terrorist teams radicalize, organize and make decisions. There is a common misconception in the West that leaders of terrorist groups are recruiting and brainwashing people into giving up their lives to establish a new political order. This is an incorrect model that has been vastly exaggerated in the media, based on a Western understanding of leadership.

  • Climate threatsDroughts boost emissions as hydropower dries up

    Recent droughts caused increases in emissions of carbon dioxide and harmful air pollutants from power generation in several western states as fossil fuels came online to replace hampered hydroelectric power. A new study quantifies the impact.

  • ViolenceNo link found between violent video games and behavior

    Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent. In a series of experiments, with more than 3,000 participants, the team demonstrated that video game concepts do not ‘prime’ players to behave in certain ways and that increasing the realism of violent video games does not necessarily increase aggression in game players.

  • Water securityClean water for Africa

    Over 100 million people in Southern Africa have no access to clean water – many sources in rural areas are contaminated. In the SafeWaterAfrica project, African and European partners are working closely together to develop a decentralized system solution for water purification that can be operated and maintained autonomously by rural inhabitants. The system covers the clean water needs of several hundred people. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST are coordinating the project.

  • Mitigating climate threatsUsing the National Climate Assessment to prepare for climate change

    Every four years, the National Climate Assessment evaluates the state of climate science and the impact of climate change in the U.S., now and into the future. The most recent NCA was released on Black Friday, and many cities, states, businesses, and local communities are ready to take action on climate change—and they’re wondering how to go about it.