Sci-Tech | Homeland Security Newswire

  • 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.

  • Air conditioning a key driver of global electricity-demand growth

    The growing use of air conditioners in homes and offices around the world will be one of the top drivers of global electricity demand over the next three decades, according to new analysis by the International Energy Agency that stresses the urgent need for policy action to improve cooling efficiency.

  • 3D printing of weapons: A threat to global, national, and personal security

    Additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing — could benefit military adversaries, violent extremists and even street criminals, who could produce their own weapons for use and sale. As this technology further develops, and without proper controls, violent actors might be able to replicate more sophisticated weapons systems, print lethal drones, and even produce jamming devices or cheap decoys that disrupt intelligence collection.

  • U.S. Noble Prize leadership in the sciences threatened

    Since first being awarded in 1901, most Nobel Prizes for science have gone to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Calculating Noble Prize productivity (that is, number of prizes per capita), the United States became the Noble Prize leader after the Second World War – and reached its zenith in the 1970s. On present trajectory, Germany will produce more Noble Prize winners per capita by 2025, and France by 2028.

  • 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).

  • Conservatives are not inherently more skeptical of climate change

    Researchers has challenged the widely held belief that people with conservative political views are more likely to reject climate change science. “This suggests that ideological barriers to accepting science don’t emerge from people spontaneously critiquing scientific consensus through the lens of their world views,” said one researcher. “Rather, ideological barriers to accepting science can also be encouraged by influential individuals and organizations who have a vested interest in communicating that the science is wrong.”

  • Helping rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana

    As coastal lands in Louisiana erode, researchers, environmentalists and engineers are all searching for ways to preserve the marsh coastline. Now, researchers have developed a model to help stakeholders figure out what factors they need to consider to rebuild land in this fragile wetland.

  • The role of health in climate lawsuits

    A new analysis investigates the role of health concerns in climate litigation since 1990 and finds that although health is cited in a minority of cases, it may have critical potential for protecting communities from the effects of climate change and coal fired power plants.

  • Aliens can’t reach Earth because of gravity

    If there are aliens out there, on large planets like Jupiter or on slightly smaller planets called super-Earths, why have they not yet come to visit us? Scientists say aliens living on distant planets can’t cruise the cosmos because of gravity. To launch the equivalent of an Apollo moon mission, a rocket on a super-Earth would need to have a mass of about 440 000 tons because of fuel requirements.

  • South Florida mangroves are on a death march, marking a new era for Earth

    The problem is so clear, it might be the first real sign Earth has entered a new geological era. Using a combination of aerial photographs from the 1930s, modern satellite imagery and ground sediment samples, tracked the mangroves’ westward retreat from the coastal Everglades. Now, their backs are to the wall – literally.

  • As drought returns, experts say Texas cities aren't conserving enough water

    Three years after one of the worst droughts in Wichita Falls history, life is returning to normal. But as Texas creeps back into a drought, water experts say residents in the city and around the state can do more to conserve water and prepare for the next shortage, which is always on the horizon.

  • DHS S&T awards first Phase 4 award for IOT security

    Atlanta-based Ionic Security is the first company to successfully complete prototype testing and move to the pilot deployment phase as part of DHS S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). SVIP offers up to $800,000 in non-dilutive funding to eligible companies.

  • Ambulance drones a reality in five years

    Would you hop into a driverless drone and let it fly off with you? In a few years you may have the chance to do just that. Autonomous drones with room for passengers could become a reality within five years. They have many potential uses. Taxi drones are now being tested in Dubai. In Norway, researchers are working on developing ambulance drones.

  • Climate change not the key driver of conflict, displacement in East Africa

    Over the last fifty years, climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research. “Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause. Our research suggests that socio-political factors are the primary cause while climate change is a threat multiplier,” said one researcher.