• More intense wildfires are here to stay, and we need to adapt

    Update on state of Canada’s mountain regions looks at human scale of ecological disaster wrought by changing climate. “Events that a decade ago we would call ‘100-year events’ are quickly becoming the norm,” said one researcher. We need to talk “about ways we can coexist with fire because it is our new reality.”

  • Rising seas threaten Australia’s major airports – and it may be happening faster than we think

    Most major airports in Australia are located on reclaimed swamps, sitting only a few meters above the present-day sea level. And the risk of sea level rise from climate change poses a greater threat to our airports than we’re prepared for. Given the significant disruption cost and deep uncertainty associated with the timing of sea level rise, we must adopt a risk-based approach which considers extreme sea level rise scenarios as part of coastal infrastructure planning.

  • Rural areas more vulnerable to sea-level rise

    Type “sea-level rise” in an internet search engine and almost all the resulting images will show flooded cities. But there is a growing recognition that sea-level rise will mostly impact rural land–much of it privately owned—where existing knowledge is insufficient o best inform private and public decisions on how to cope with the threat.

  • Can we prepare for climate impacts without creating financial chaos?

    Likely sooner than we think, the destruction that warmer global temperatures are inflicting — through record floods, wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes — could physically overwhelm our ability to maintain many communities in their existing form. Communities face a tricky dilemma as climate changes: How to prepare for impacts without scaring away homeowners and investors and setting off a damaging economic spiral.

  • Profitable climate change solution

    A seemingly counterintuitive approach – converting one greenhouse gas into another – holds promise for returning the atmosphere to pre-industrial concentrations of methane, a powerful driver of global warming.

  • Be afraid of the world, be very afraid

    Who’s right: Cassandra or Dr. Pangloss? Are we on the brink of serious trouble, as Cassandra of Greek myth prophesied, or is all for the best “in this best of all possible worlds,” as the fictional Pangloss insisted in Voltaire’s Candide? “I’m generally a fairly upbeat guy, despite my realist proclivities and my recurring frustrations at the embarrassing state of U.S. foreign policy,” Stephen M. Walt writes in Foreign Policy. “But today I’m going to indulge my inner Cassandra and describe the five bad things that worry me today. I hope I’m wrong.

  • The costs of extreme weather

    An expert tells lawmakers that there is one “underappreciated” fact in discussions about the costs of climate change: “small shifts in long-term average conditions — what we call climate — can have a large effect on the frequency of extreme weather events.” Examples: “In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $125 billion in losses, with an estimated 200,000 homes experiencing damage. Ongoing flooding in the upper Midwest is sure to produce agricultural losses alone in the billions of dollars, and extreme drought across much of the U.S. in 2012 caused $33 billion in losses.”

  • The fundamental challenges of living with wildfire

    Wildfires can have dramatic impacts on Western landscapes and communities, but human values determine whether the changes caused by fire are desired or dreaded. This is the simple - but often overlooked - message from a collaborative team of researchers.

  • As floods increase, cities like Detroit are looking to green stormwater infrastructure

    Urban sprawl meant paving over grasslands and wetlands, making it so water is unable to soak into the ground. Today, that impervious development, coupled with the more intense storms brought by climate change, is making flooding a major issue for many cities. Urban areas are looking for better ways to manage runoff.

  • Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere highest in human history

    Atmospheric levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide have hit a record high of more than 415 parts per million. Before the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century, carbon dioxide levels fluctuated but never exceeded 300 ppm at any one time over the past 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere broke 400 ppm for the first time in human history in 2013.

  • As planet warms, even little precipitation may disrupt road networks

    A new computer model shows that as more rain falls on a warming planet, it may not take a downpour to cause widespread disruption of road networks. The model combined data on road networks with the hills and valleys of topography to reveal “tipping points” at which even small localized increases in rain cause widespread road outages.

  • Extreme floods associated with distinct atmospheric patterns

    Extreme floods across the continental United States are associated with four broad atmospheric patterns, a machine-learning based analysis of extreme floods found.

  • Maths shows the nature of “tipping points” for climate, eco crises

    Humans need to be wary of breaching a “point of no return” that leads to ecological disaster such as loss of rainforests or irreversible climate change, according to the most detailed study of its kind.

  • Forest fires accelerating snowmelt across western U.S., affecting water supplies

    Forest fires are causing snow to melt earlier in the season, a trend occurring across the western U.S. that may affect water supplies and trigger even more fires, according to a new study. It is a cycle that will only be exacerbated as the frequency, duration, and severity of forest fires increase with a warmer and drier climate.

  • Mozambique hit by another unprecedented tropical cyclone

    A few weeks after Cyclone Idai which wreaked havoc on central Mozambique (and eastern Zimbabwe), the country is dealing with another unprecedented event. Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique on 25 April, near the border with Tanzania, in an area where no tropical cyclone has been observed since the satellite era. There is no record of two storms of such intensity striking Mozambique in the same season. It has now weakened into a depression.