• Space debrisMonitoring Space Debris

    Swirling fragments of past space endeavors are trapped in orbit around Earth, threatening our future in space. Over time, the number, mass and area of these debris objects grows steadily, boosting the risk to functioning satellites. ESA’s Space Debris Office constantly monitors this ever-evolving debris situation, and every year publishes a report on the current state of the debris environment.

  • InfrastructureClimate Change Undermines Safety of Europe’s Buildings, Infrastructure

    Buildings and infrastructure also need to adapt to the changing climate. Updating structural design standards is crucial to improving European climate resilience and ensuring the safety of constructions, that are expected to suffer from changes in atmospheric variables and more frequent and intense extreme weather events. The higher temperatures expected over the next 50 years in Europe will accelerate corrosion of buildings, and will expose infrastructure to higher stresses, thus undermining the safety of constructions.

  • TsunamisThe Accuracy of Tsunami Predictions

    Residents of coastal towns in Chile remember the catastrophic earthquakes that struck their country in 1960 and 2010, not always for the quakes themselves but for the tsunamis that followed. New study validates accuracy in predicting the first wave, but weakness in forecasting ‘trailing’ waves.

  • CybersecurityFinding the Origins of a Hacker

    Industrial control systems run utilities that provide the electricity to keep the lights on or that deliver the water that people expect to gush out when they turn on a tap. Today those systems can be attacked via malicious code that an adversary inserts into the normal operating instructions.

  • Earthquake damageCurbing Earthquakes-Induced Economic Losses to Power Plants

    Researchers have shown that during high seismic activity, the structural integrity of bushing systems can be better maintained by reinforcing their bases with steel stiffeners. Also, by using probability-based loss assessment studies, they found that the economic burden due to damage to bushing systems from earthquakes is up to 10 times lower for steel-reinforced transformer bushing systems compared to other bushing configurations.

  • FloodsAs Atmospheric Carbon Rises, So Do Rivers, Exacerbating Flooding

    When it comes to climate change, relationships are everything. That’s a key takeaway of a new study that examines the interaction between plants, atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising water levels in the Mississippi River.

  • FloodsNew Woodlands Can Help Reduce Flooding Risk within 15 Years

    The planting of woodlands in upland areas could play a significant role in preventing the flash flooding which has increasingly affected communities across the world in recent years.

  • ResilienceNetwork Resilience is Key to Surviving Compound Hazard Events

    As weather extremes such as Superstorm Sandy, which swamped New York City’s subway system in 2012, increase in frequency and intensity and as cybercriminals ramp up attacks on technologies that tie together urban infrastructure systems, networks critical to the flow of data, people, goods, and services must be made more resilient to failure

  • Climate migrationHow Many People Will Migrate Due to Rising Sea Levels? Our Best Guesses Aren’t Good Enough

    By Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson, Celia McMichael, Ilan Kelman, and Shouro Dasgupta

    The idea that rising seas will force millions to move, unleashing a refugee crisis like no other, has now become commonplace. It’s a narrative that the media are fond of, but that does not mean it is based on evidence. The potential scale of sea level rise is becoming clearer, but this does not necessarily translate into population movements. Everything we have learned so far suggests that decisions to migrate are far more complex than a simple flight response.

  • Infrastructure protectionMaking Highways, Tunnels, and Bridges More Resilient to Extreme Events

    The EU-funded RESIST project aims to provide a methodology as well as tools for risk analysis and management for critical highway structures (in the case of bridges and tunnels) that will be applicable to all extreme natural and man-made events, or cyber-attacks to the associated information systems. Its goal is to increase the resilience of seamless transport operation and protect the users and operators of the European transport infrastructure by providing them optimal information.

  • FloodsHelping Urban Communities Install Low-Cost Sensors to Reduce Flood Risks

    Floods are costly and dangerous events that impact communities across the U.S. every year. DHS S&T released a guidebook to help communities deploy and operate low-cost sensors for flood monitoring and management.

  • Coastal challengesUp to 15 Inches of Sea-Level Rise from Ice Sheets by 2100

    A collaborative effort of more than three dozen research institutions from around the world has helped to create the most accurate prediction of how melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland will contribute to global sea-level rise.   

  • Wildfires & Calif.’s electric gridWhat the Wildfires Tell Us about the Shortcomings of California’s Electric Grid

    In addition to the vast destruction they have caused, the wildfires that have engulfed California in recent weeks have laid bare serious concerns about the state’s electric grid. UCLA’s expert Eric Fournier explains why the architecture of California’s grid isn’t well suited for such extreme conditions and what it would take to improve it.

  • WildfiresHumans Cause 97 Percent of Home-Threatening Wildfires

    People are starting almost all the wildfires that threaten U.S. homes, according to an innovative new analysis combining housing and wildfire data. Through activities like debris burning, equipment use and arson, humans were responsible for igniting 97 percent of home-threatening wildfires. Moreover, one million homes sat within the boundaries of wildfires in the last 24 years.

  • EMP attacksCombatting Potential Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

    Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons have the potential to disrupt unprotected critical infrastructure within the United States and could impact millions over large parts of the country. DHS says it continues to prepare against evolving threats against the American homeland, most recently highlighting efforts to combat an EMP attack.