• 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.

  • China sonic attack: how sound can be a weapon

    Reports of “sonic attacks” in China, and previously in Cuba, have left many wandering whether sonic weapons could be targeting U.S. diplomats. Victims have reportedly experienced mild brain injuries with symptoms including “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure.” Little is known for definite, but the symptoms do suggest that some sort of sonic interference could have taken place. It is unlikely to be the result of a deliberate “sonic attack.” Instead, these injuries are probably the side effects of intrusive surveillance.

  • Climate change could increase arable land, agricultural feasibility in northern hemisphere

    Climate change could expand the agricultural feasibility of the global boreal region by 44 percent by the end of the century, according to new research. However, the scientists warn that the same climate trends that would increase land suitable for crop growth in that area could also significantly change the global climatic water balance – negatively impacting agriculture in the rest of the world.

  • Will London run out of water?

    The U.K.’s Environment Agency warns in a new report that England could suffer major water shortages by 2030 and that London is particularly at risk. The BBC agrees, placing London on its recent list of 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water along with the likes of Cape Town, where an ongoing water crisis has caused social and economic disruption. There are limits to what can be achieved just by fixing leaky pipes or getting people to water their lawns less often. Though such measures are useful, they will not safeguard London’s water supplies against the more extreme combinations of growth and climate change.

  • Antibiotic resistance rise tied to hotter temps

    Could a warming climate be one of the factors bringing the world closer to the “post-antibiotic” era that infectious disease experts have been warning about? That’s one of the questions raised by a new study that explores the role that climate and other factors play in the distribution of antibiotic resistance in the United States.

  • Reducing fire hazards from materials

    Fire researchers will tell you that there’s a simple solution for reducing fire hazards: eliminate flammable materials. If it doesn’t burn, the experts say, then there won’t be a fire. Of course, that option isn’t very practical or realistic; after all, who wants to sit on a block of cement when you can have a cushiony recliner? NIST offers a better strategy for reducing the thousands of deaths and injuries and billions of dollars in damage resulting from the more than a million fires each year in the United States.

  • Scientists set to tackle the mystery of Loch Ness

    The story of the Loch Ness monster is one of the world’s greatest mysteries. We have waited more than a thousand years for an answer on its existence. Now, it is only months away.

  • Using proteins from bones to identify people

    When a team of researchers led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) developed a new biological identification method that exploits information encoded in proteins, they thought it could have multiple applications. Nearly two years later, they’ve turned out to be right. One possible important application for using protein markers from human bones could be to help determine the identity of partial remains from catastrophic events, such as plane crashes, fires or the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

  • 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.

  • Interior releases 2018’s final list of critical minerals

    The Department of the Interior last week published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year, which aims to break America’s dependence on foreign minerals.

  • We can get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources: Scientists

    Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilize the grid and cause blackouts? Scientists say that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100 percent renewable future.

  • Children often ignore what they learn at gun safety programs

    Children who participate in gun safety programs often ignore what they learned when encountering a real firearm, according to a new study. The study found such programs do not reduce the likelihood that children will handle guns when they are unsupervised, that boys are more likely than girls to ignore gun-safety rules and that few studies exist of gun-safety programs for children beyond the fourth grade.

  • 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.