• Huawei and 5G: U.K. Had Little Choice but Say Yes to Chinese – Here’s Why

    For the time being, the British government can hardly be enjoying the fallout from its Huawei decision. To date, much focus has been on the confidentiality of communications over mobile networks, and risks of spying. A bigger issue is the need to keep the mobile phone network running. We are in an era where everything from Uber and Deliveroo to most credit card machines cannot function without it. The nightmare scenario is a hostile state-affiliated actor shutting down or damaging the mobile networks. It may have effectively been impossible for the U.K. to say no to Huawei, but the current compromise is far from ideal.

  • Reducing Risk, Empowering Resilience to Disruptive Global Change

    Five-hundred-year floods. Persistent droughts and heat waves. More devastating wildfires. As these and other planetary perils become more commonplace, they pose serious risks to natural, managed, and built environments around the world. Assessing the magnitude of these risks over multiple decades and identifying strategies to prepare for them at local, regional, and national scales will be essential to making societies and economies more resilient and sustainable. A workshop highlights how MIT research can guide adaptation at local, regional, and national scales.

  • Sea Level Rise: Major Economic Impact in the Absence of Further Climate Action

    Rising sea levels, a direct impact of the Earth’s warming climate, is intensifying coastal flooding. The findings of a new study show that the projected negative economy-wide effects of coastal flooding are already significant until 2050, but are then predicted to increase substantially towards the end of the century if no further climate action on mitigation and adaptation is taken.

  • Climate Costs Smallest If Warming Is Limited to 2°C

    Climate costs are likely smallest if global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius. The politically negotiated Paris Agreement is thus also the economically sensible one, Potsdam researchers find in a new study. Using computer simulations of a model by U.S. Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus, they weight climate damages from, for instance, increasing weather extremes or decreasing labor productivity against the costs of cutting greenhouse gas emission by phasing out coal and oil. Interestingly, the economically most cost-efficient level of global warming turns out to be the one more than 190 nations signed as the Paris Climate Agreement. So far however, CO2 reductions promised by nations worldwide are insufficient to reach this goal.

  • Sea-Level Rise Could Trigger Migration from Coastal Areas to Inland Cities in U.S.

    When Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast in 2017, displaced residents flocked inland, trying to rebuild their lives in the disaster’s aftermath. Within decades, the same thing could happen at a much larger scale due to rising sea levels, says a new study. The researchers say that climate change-driven sea-level rise could trigger mass migration of Americans to inland cities.

  • Climate Change Means the U.S. Must Start Building Big Things Again

    There used to be a time when the United States was adept at planning and building big projects – the highway system, putting a man on the moon, and more. Not anymore, James Temple writes. He notes that nearly every giant infrastructure project in the United States suffers from massive delays and cost overruns, and this is when they are not shut down altogether before completion. “The U.S. has become terrible at building big things, and negligent in even maintaining our existing infrastructure,” he writes, adding: “That all bodes terribly for our ability to grapple with the coming dangers of climate change, because it is fundamentally an infrastructure problem.”

  • Before We Rush to Rebuild after Fires, We Need to Think about Where and How

    Public support for rebuilding in the same disaster affected places is often high. But as fire-fighting agencies are aware, our bushfires are increasing in size, intensity and duration, and a warming climate will continue to worsen these factors. We need to start being more strategic about where we rebuild homes and facilities lost to fire, and how.

  • Tropical Cyclones Causing Billions in Losses Dominate 2019 Natural Catastrophe Picture

    Natural catastrophes cause overall losses of $150 billion, with insured losses of about $52 billion. Severe typhoons in Japan cause the year’s biggest losses. Hurricane Dorian, the strongest hurricane of the year, devastates the Bahamas, but the U.S. mainland was largely spared. Humanitarian tragedy caused by cyclones in Mozambique, with more than 1,000 deaths.  – Better protection is urgently needed

  • Ways to Strengthen the Resilience of Supply Chains After Hurricanes

    A new report from the National Academies of Sciences recommends ways to make supply chains — the systems that provide populations with critical goods and services, such as food and water, gasoline, and pharmaceuticals and medical supplies – more resilient in the face of hurricanes and other disasters, drawing upon lessons learned from the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

  • Climate Change to Make Wildfires in Oregon's Blue Mountains More Frequent, Severe

    Under a warming climate, wildfires in Oregon’s southern Blue Mountains will become more frequent, more extensive and more severe, a new study finds. The researchers urge forest managers to continue to reduce fuel continuity through accelerated rates of thinning and prescribed burning to help reduce the extent and severity of future fires.

  • International Effort to Improve Urban Resilience

    Extreme climate events are severely affecting communities in the U.S. and around the world. The examples are plenty. Bushfires in Australia, wildfires in California, flooding on both U.S. coasts and inland, and much more. In the face of extreme climate events, experts explore developing nature-based solutions.

  • Sustainable Supply of Rare Earth Minerals Key to Low-Carbon Energy Future

    The global low-carbon revolution could be at risk unless new international agreements and governance mechanisms are put in place to ensure a sustainable supply of rare minerals and metals, a new study has warned.

  • 5. The Ransomware Menace

    Experts say that 2019 should be declared the Year of Ransomware Escalation. The increasing number of attacks and the move by perpetrators to target large companies and public institutions in the United States and abroad is a turning point in the evolution of this digital form of blackmail.

  • U.S. Military Precariously Unprepared for Climate Threats, War College & Retired Brass Warn

    A series of climate-related disasters has paralyzed the strategic capabilities of several U.S military bases in recent years. David Hasemyer writes that it has exposed the military’s vulnerability to extreme weather, shining light on its failure to prepare adequately and on the consequences this lack of preparation could have for U.S. national security.

  • GOP Senators: Chinese Drones Pose National Security Threat

    A group of GOP senators called on the administration to restrict the use of Chinese drones by U.S. government agencies. “American taxpayer dollars should not fund state-controlled or state-owned firms that seek to undermine American national security and economic competitiveness,” they write.