• Hurricane Michael damage could be worst in decades: Florida governor

    Hurricane Michael is intensifying into a Category 4 storm as it speeds toward Panama City on the Florida Panhandle. Heavy rains and strong winds have started after tens of thousands of residents evacuated. Experts had been warning residents to evacuate – but at about 11:00 am Wednesday, Florida authorities said that those residents who had not yet evacuated should barricade themselves in their homes. Falling trees, collapsed powerlines, and rising water would likely strand residents on the road if they left their homes now, so they would be safer staying put.

  • Civil engineering professor urges Midwest tornado preparation

    Researchers rely on a pair of analytical observations more commonly invoked in fields such as cognitive psychology, economics or political science — prospect theory and game theory — to make Tornado Alley safer. The unofficial geographic designation encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and other parts of the central United States.

  • Dealing with critical risks from climate change beyond adaptation and mitigation limits

    This year has brought new temperature records in Africa and Asia, the hottest European summer in recent history, with associated droughts, and forest fires as far north as the Arctic Circle, severe flooding in India and Bangladesh, and massive cyclone damage in Fiji, the Philippines and China. Research has shown that the frequency and severity of extreme weather and climate-related hazards is likely to increase as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Climate mitigation and adaptation will increasingly not be enough to manage the effects from such hazards, and experts now call for a climate policy mechanism designed to manage climate-related losses and damages in particularly vulnerable countries.

  • World has 12 years to limit catastrophic impacts of climate change

    Leading climate scientists warn that there is only a dozen years for actions to be taken to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5C. Beyond the threshold of 1.5C warming above pre-industrial era, even half a degree of additional warming will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

  • U.S. states agree on plan to manage overtaxed Colorado River

    Seven Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the overtaxed Colorado River have reached landmark agreements on how to manage the waterway amid an unprecedented drought, including a commitment by California to bear part of the burden before it is legally required to do so.

  • Extreme weather events rarely occur in isolation

    The end of the baking hot summer is a forceful reminder of what the climate could hold in store for us in the future. Between April and August of this year, rainfall in Eastern Switzerland was lower than has ever been recorded. And during the same period, temperatures were very high. In order to assess the risk of simultaneous climate extremes such as heatwaves and drought, scientists call for various research areas to work more closely together.

  • Comprehensive flood insurance

    Insurance is a valuable recovery tool for individuals and communities impacted by disaster. While it doesn’t prevent the unexpected from happening, it does provide financial peace of mind, a safety net when disaster occurs. Insurance offers critical financial protection and resources that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance programs do not provide. FEMA recommends all homeowners with properties in flood prone areas purchase flood insurance. Despite the known financial benefits of flood insurance, there is a large and persistence flood insurance gap in the nation.

  • Climate change requires a fresh approach to water woes

    Climate change is affecting the Everglades and other large watersheds across the United States in new and unpredictable ways. Extreme weather events and rising sea levels, combined with a growing population, will lead to “more intense arguments” about already contested issues of water quality and water usage, experts say.

  • U.S. among top nations to suffer economic damage from climate change

    For the first time, researchers have developed a data set quantifying what the social cost of carbon—the measure of the economic harm from carbon dioxide emissions—will be for the globe’s nearly 200 countries, and the results are surprising. New study indicates global warming is costing U.S. economy about $250 billion per year.

  • U.S. carbon-capture network could double global CO2 headed underground

    With the right public infrastructure investment, the United States could as much as double the amount of carbon dioxide emissions currently captured and stored worldwide within the next six years, according to researchers.

  • Climate change: we need to start moving people away from some coastal areas, warns scientist

    Climate change has forced a paradigm shift in the way coastal flooding and erosion risks are managed. In areas of lower risk, adaptation plans are being devised, often with provisions to make properties and infrastructure more resilient. Adaptation may involve requiring raised foundations in flood-prone areas or the installation of mitigating measures, such as sustainable drainage systems. Building codes may also be established to make structures more disaster-proof and to control the types of constructions within risk zones. But such adaptation options are often of limited use or unsuitable for high-risk areas. In such areas relocation is the only safe climate-proof response.

  • Paris climate targets may be exceeded sooner than expected

    A new study has for the first time comprehensively accounted for permafrost carbon release when estimating emission budgets for climate targets. The results show that the world might be closer to exceeding the budget for the long-term target of the Paris climate agreement than previously thought.

  • Either cover 89 percent of the U.S. with trees, or go solar

    How many fields of switchgrass and forests of trees would be needed to offset the energy produced by burning coal? A lot, it turns out. While demand for energy isn’t dropping, alarms raised by burning fossil fuels in order to get that energy are getting louder.

  • California: New planning tools to prepare state for devastating climate change impact

    Warning that two-thirds of Southern California’s beaches could completely disappear and the average area burned by wildfires could nearly double by 2100, the State of California the other day released California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, which details new science on the devastating impacts of climate change and provides planning tools to support the state’s response.

  • Strategies in U.S. climate litigation

    The courts have played a central role in climate change policy, starting with a landmark Supreme Court case that led to the mandatory regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States. How do the courts address climate cases today? Who wins, who loses and what kinds of strategies make a difference in the courtroom? Pro-regulatory litigants more likely to win renewable energy and energy efficiency cases than those involving coal-fired power plants.