• Droughts caused permanent loss to major California groundwater source

    California’s Central Valley aquifer, the major source of groundwater in the region, suffered permanent loss of capacity during the drought experienced in the area from 2012 to 2015.

  • February 2019 ranked fifth hottest month on record for the globe

    We recently concluded the second full month of 2019, and already the year to date has turned out on the warm side. Steady warmth around the globe made February the fifth hottest on record. Seasonally, the period from December 2018 through February 2019 ranked fourth hottest on record.

  • Potential impacts of future heat waves on humans and wildlife

    Climate change is often talked about in terms of averages — like the goal set by the Paris Agreement to limit the Earth’s temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. What such numbers fail to convey is that climate change will not only increase the world’s average temperature, it will also intensify extreme heat waves that even now are harming people and wildlife.

  • Keeping first responders, high-risk workers safer

    Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen.

  • Smart sensor to enhance emergency communications

    First responders run toward danger; their jobs require it. Often, their only connection to the outside world during these rescue missions is their colleagues at the command centers who coordinate the rescue effort. with the ubiquity of IoT devices now, first responders have access to a vast, timely, and smart network of connections to the outside world.

  • Feeling the heat: Recognizing the risks of extreme weather

    Heat waves are more dangerous than tornadoes, statistically. They kill more people than sharks, and put more human lives at risk than blizzards, floods or lightning storms. But they lack a certain dramatic flair, making it surprisingly difficult for many people to grasp and evaluate the real danger lurking behind their devastating effects. Recognizing those risks could be a matter of life or death – especially as a changing climate is making dangerous extreme heat events more and more likely every year in the United States.

  • Human brains vulnerable to voice morphing attacks

    A recent research study investigated the neural underpinnings of voice security, and analyzed the differences in neural activities when users are processing different types of voices, including morphed voices.The results? Not pleasing to the ear. Or the brain.

  • Dealing with disaster

    It took less than 90 minutes before students in Miaki Ishii’s first-year seminar started to talk openly about revolt. The unrest, however, wasn’t due to any political issue currently making headlines, but to a small room in Harvard’s Geological Museum and a handful of their classmates. The students took part in a role-playing game that saw them acting as citizens of the island of Montserrat, the tiny country’s government, and a group of scientists monitoring the island’s volcano. Why revolt? Because the students soon grew skeptical of the government’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to pressing environmental concerns.

  • Climate tool points to end of winter by 2050

    Researchers have designed a tool which takes existing data and communicates the impacts of climate change in a way that people can engage with and better understand. The resulting new climate tool visualizes data which shows by 2050, Australians will no longer enjoy winter as they know it today and will experience a new season the designers are calling “New Summer.”

  • Forecasters use Iron Dome science to handle disasters

    Typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires — the frequency and intensity of natural disasters across the globe are worsening, and these deadly events could continue plaguing the planet as a result of climate change. Iron Dome tech firm uses rocket science to enable utilities to plan for and manage effects of wildfires, storms, hurricanes and earthquakes.

  • Laying groundwork for off-world colonies

    Space economy is estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2040, but before civilization can move off world it must make sure its structures work on the extraterrestrial foundations upon which they will be built. Researchers are already laying the groundwork for the off-world jump by creating standards for extraterrestrial surfaces.

  • Using concrete for space colonies

    “Be prepared.” This famous mantra isn’t just for the Boy Scouts of America. The need to build durable infrastructure on other planets is coming, and we must be ready. To prepare, researchers have been exploring how cement solidifies in microgravity environments.

  • Wildfire risk in California no longer linked to winter precipitation

    From 1600 to 1903, the position of the North Pacific jet stream over California was linked to the amount of winter precipitation and the severity of the subsequent wildfire season, the team found. Wet winters brought by the jet stream were followed by low wildfire activity, and dry winters were generally followed by higher wildfire activity. Wet winters no longer predict possible relief from severe wildfires for California, according to a new study.

  • Fast, simple new method for assessing earthquake hazard

    Geophysicists have created a new method for determining earthquake hazards by measuring how fast energy is building up on faults in a specific region, and then comparing that to how much is being released through fault creep and earthquakes.

  • Asteroids are harder to destroy than previously thought

    A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up. But incoming asteroids may be harder to break than scientists previously thought, finds a new study that used a new understanding of rock fracture and a new computer modeling method to simulate asteroid collisions.