• Water securityGlobal hotspots for potential water conflicts

    Scientists at the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission have identified the hotspots where competition over the use of shared water resources could lead to disagreements between countries. The scientists determined that the Nile, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Tigris-Euphrates and Colorado rivers are “water hotspots”, where “hydro-political interactions” are most likely to occur. These areas are already under water stress, and future demographic and climatic conditions are expected to exert further pressure on scarce water resources.

  • ResilienceMore than 1,000 stakeholders join N.Y.-N.J. Metropolitan Resilience Network

    An innovative program, the Metropolitan Resilience Network (MRN), now has over 1,000 credentialed stakeholders from hundreds of public and private organizations in the New York metro area. MRN members are connected and collaborating on shared threats to the region through a unique technology platform as well as a wider spectrum of activities.

  • ResilienceWhy doesn’t the U.S. bury its power lines?

    By Theodore J. Kury

    It is nearing the end of a highly destructive hurricane season in the United States. The devastation of Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina caused more than 1.4 million customers to lose power and Hurricane Michael has cut service to an estimated 900,000 customers in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Soon, winter storms will bring wind and snow to much of the country. When it comes to electricity, people turn their attention to the power lines overhead and wonder if their electricity service might be more secure if those lines were buried underground. But having studied this question for utilities and regulators, I can say the answer is not that straightforward. Burying power lines, also called undergrounding, is expensive, requires the involvement of many stakeholders and might not solve the problem at all.

  • Hurricane MichaelFlorida Panhandle counties less prepared for emergency than rest of state

    found that the vast majority of counties in the Florida Panhandle were less prepared for emergency evacuation compared to the rest of the state. Of the 67 counties in Florida, 10 were rated as having weak levels of evacuation preparedness, and all of these counties were located in the Panhandle/North Florida. Eleven of 16 counties with moderately rated plans also were in this region. Only seven of the counties in the Panhandle had strong plans.

  • EMPDHS unveils new strategy to deal with EMP threats

    DHS earlier this week announced the release of department’s new strategy to prepare for and recover from EMP and GMD incidents – whether naturally occurring or intentional. Electromagnetic incidents, caused by either an intentional EMP attack or naturally occurring GMD events, are unlikely, but they could cause serious damage to the U.S critical infrastructure.

  • Hurricane MichaelHurricane 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.

  • TornadoesCivil 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.

  • Climate threatsDealing 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.

  • Climate tipping pointWorld 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.

  • Water securityU.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.

  • Water securityClimate 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.

  • Grid securityProtecting the power grid from cyberattacks

    As the national power grid becomes increasingly dependent on computers and data sharing—providing significant benefits for utilities, customers, and communities—it has also become more vulnerable to both physical and cyber threats. While evolving standards with strict enforcement help reduce risks, efforts focused on response and recovery capabilities are just as critical––as is research aimed at creating a well-defended next generation smart grid.

  • Mitigating climate threatsU.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.

  • Cyber operationsWhy it’s unwise for the U.K. to boast about its cyberattack capability

    By Joe Devanny

    The U.K. government is very publicly investing more money in its ability to conduct cyberattacks and, at the same time, it is becoming increasingly open in talking about the attacks it has conducted in the past – and those it might conduct in future. There are risks involved in publicly signaling the imminence of cyber and other attacks, especially against capable adversaries with a demonstrable appetite for taking risks and a cavalier attitude about collateral damage. The U.K. needs to think more carefully about how it integrates cyber operations, and communication about them, into its wider approach – not only towards Russia but across the whole spectrum of national security operations.

  • EncryptionEconomic benefit of NIST’s encryption standard at least $250 billion

    NIST has released a study that estimates a $250 billion economic impact from the development of its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over the past twenty years. AES is a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt electronic information. It was approved for use by the federal government in November 2001 and has since been widely adopted by private industry. Today, AES protects everything from classified data and bank transactions to online shopping and social media apps.