• Texas power outagesWinter Storm Could Cost Texas More Money Than Any Disaster in State History

    By Mitchell Ferman

    Lawmakers and analysts say it is too soon for an exact estimate, but the financial damage from the storm has left state lawmakers scrambling to account for the storm in the middle of the 2021 legislative session.

  • ARGUMENT: Climate emergency Is Climate Change a National Emergency?

    Climate change is unlike any problem facing the nation and the world, Mark Nevitt writes: It has been aptly described as the “mother of all collective action” problems and a “super-wicked” problem. “Climate change is complicated by a unique temporal characteristic that penalizes inaction. Because greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stay in the atmosphere for decades, dithering on climate action imposes escalating costs that rise over time,” he writes. “At some point, the effects of climate change will be too acute, have had too much impact, or be too late to stop or reverse.”

  • Power outagesPower Outages across the Plains: 4 Questions Answered about Weather-Driven Blackouts

    By Michael E. Webber

    Amid record cold temperatures and skyrocketing energy demand, utilities across the central U.S. have ordered rolling blackouts to ration electricity, leaving millions of people without power. Weather-related power outages are increasing across the U.S. as climate change produces more extreme storms and temperature swings. States that design their buildings and infrastructure for hot weather may need to plan for more big chills, and cold-weather states can expect more heat waves. As conditions in Texas show, there’s no time to waste in getting more weather-ready.

  • Security threatsSecurity Threats which Bind Us

    The Converging Risks Lab of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) released a report last week which identifies ecological disruption as a major and underappreciated security threat and calls on the United States to reboot its national security architecture and doctrine to better respond to this evolving threat landscape.

  • Climate challengesErratic Weather Slows Down the Economy

    If temperature varies strongly from day to day, the economy grows less. Through these seemingly small variations climate change may have strong effects on economic growth. In a new study, researchers  juxtapose observed daily temperature changes with economic data from more than 1,500 regions worldwide over 40 years – with startling results.

  • PandemicClimate Change May Have Driven the Emergence of SARS-CoV-2

    Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favored by bats.

  • Coastal challengesWhy Projects to Adapt to Climate Change Backfire

    Many internationally funded projects aimed at combating the impacts of climate change can make things worse - by reinforcing, redistributing, or creating new sources of vulnerability in developing countries, according to a new study.

  • DamsRole of Dams in Reducing Global Flood Risks under Climate Change

    Flood is amongst the costliest natural disasters. Globally, flood risk is projected to increase in the future, driven by climate change and population growth. The role of dams in flood mitigation, previously unaccounted for, was found to decrease by approximately 15 percent the number of people globally exposed to historical once-in-100-year floods, downstream of dams during the twenty-first century.

  • Climate challengesEarth to Reach Temperature Tipping Point in Next 20 to 30 Years

    Earth’s ability to absorb nearly a third of human-caused carbon emissions through plants could be halved within the next two decades at the current rate of warming, according to a new study. Researchers have identified a critical temperature tipping point beyond which plants’ ability to capture and store atmospheric carbon—a cumulative effect referred to as the “land carbon sink”—decreases as temperatures continue to rise.

  • Climate challengesA Climate in Crisis Calls for Investment in Direct Air Capture

    There is a growing consensus among scientists as well as national and local governments representing hundreds of millions of people, that humanity faces a climate crisis that demands a crisis response. New research explores one possible mode of response: a massively funded program to deploy direct air capture (DAC) systems that remove CO2 directly from the ambient air and sequester it safely underground.

  • Power plantsIt's Getting Hot in Here: Warming World Will Fry Power Plant Production

    There’s no doubt the Earth’s temperatures are going up. The power plants that keep air conditioners pushing out cold air could soon be in a vicious cycle in a warming world–not able to keep up with growing demands on hotter days and driving up greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous levels.

  • Climate challenges2020 Was on Par with Warmest Year Ever Recorded, Ends Warmest Decade on Record

    Globally, 2020 was tied with the previous warmest year 2016, making it the sixth in a series of exceptionally warm years starting in 2015, and 2011-2020 the warmest decade recorded.

  • Hazardous weatherUrban Land, Aerosols Amplify Hazardous Weather, Steer Storms toward Cities

    Urban landscapes and human-made aerosols—particles suspended in the atmosphere—have the potential to not only make gusts stronger and hail larger; they can also start storms sooner and even pull them toward cities, according to new research.

  • ResilienceHow Disasters Can Spur Resilience in the Gulf

    Communities in the Gulf of Mexico are all too familiar with the whims of nature and power of the sea. This year’s hurricane season brought power outages, heavy rain, downed trees, property damage, and death and injury. As disasters cascade and compound, progress toward resiliency is made by people working together and using science to decide next steps. 

  • Climate challenge2020 on Track to Be One of Three Warmest Years on Record

    Climate change continued its relentless march in 2020, which is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record. 2011-2020 will be the warmest decade on record, with the warmest six years all being since 2015, according to the World Meteorological Organization.