• Saving Sinking Cities, Bleaching Corals: Dual Approach

    Local conservation can boost the climate resilience of coastal ecosystems, species and cities, and buy precious time in their fight against sea level rise, ocean acidification and warming temperatures, a new study suggests.

  • Socioeconomic Effects of Coastal Flooding in California

    Researchers are studying the impact of coastal flooding on disadvantaged communities in California. The effort, launched with funding from the National Science Foundation’s Coastlines & People initiative, will employ advanced simulation systems to deepen understanding of increasing flood risks within the state’s two most imperiled areas: Greater Los Angeles and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

  • Supporting Coastal Communities Facing Changing Sea Levels, Coastal Flooding

    Coastal communities and the surrounding ecosystems are threatened by rising seas and coastal flooding that alter shorelines making people, homes and businesses more vulnerable to coastal storms. Rising sea levels can also change how ecosystems work, especially when combined with inundation from tides and storms. With increasing threats to our coasts, enhancing resilience to sea level rise and flooding has become a national priority.

  • Designing the Coastal City of the Future

    Boston is situated along the Gulf of Maine, which is warming faster than 99 percent of the ocean due, in part, to changing sea patterns from melting ice in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. Coupled with increased heat and precipitation, the rising sea level is threatening the low-lying city, much of which was built on landfill over the past 300 years along a 50-square-mile harbor. To save the 685,000-person city, the local government is calling on architects to help implement one of the most ambitious municipal resiliency plans in the United States: Climate Ready Boston. Launched in 2016 by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Climate Ready Boston is an initiative to prepare the city for the long-term impacts of climate change.

  • Ecosystem Investments Could Minimize Storm Damage

    A new study provides information on how to invest in natural coastal ecosystems that the Bahamian government, community leaders and development banks are applying in post-disaster recovery and future storm preparation in the Bahamas.

  • 250,000 Cubic Meters of Ice in Danger of Breaking Off Europe's Mont Blanc

    Highlighting concerns about global warming, Italian authorities now fear that part of the glacier on Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, is at risk of collapse. Experts have been monitoring the Planpicieux glacier on Mont Blanc for some time and concerns have been mounting in Italy that a section of the glacier is at risk of collapsing. Mayors of the picturesque ski towns in the area have been taking civil defense measures, including plans for evacuation on a short notice.

  • Stopping an “Internet of Things” Attack from Bringing Down the Power Grid

    Last year, Princeton researchers identified a disturbing security flaw in which hackers could someday exploit internet-connected appliances to wreak havoc on the electrical grid. Now, the same research team has released algorithms to make the grid more resilient to such attacks. The algorithms could stop an internet of things attack from bringing down the power grid.

  • NYC Building a Seawall to Protect City from Rising Seas

    On Staten Island, the section of New York City which suffered most of Superstorm Sandy’s devastation, most of the homes destroyed by the storm still sit empty. City engineers have concluded that there was no point fixing and rehabilitating these homes until other measures are taken to protect the Staten Island from the next devastating storms. And climate change will only make these storms more frequent and more intense. These other measures are now underway.

  • Global Warming Has “Profound Consequences” for Oceans, Cryosphere

    The ocean and the cryosphere – the frozen parts of the planet – play a critical role for life on Earth. A total of 670 million people in high mountain regions and 680 million people in low-lying coastal zones depend directly on these systems. Four million people live permanently in the Arctic region, and small island developing states are home to 65 million people. Global warming has profound consequences for these ecosystems: The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive; melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise; and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe.

  • Making the Internet Faster, More Secure

    A collaborative effort aims to create a nationwide research infrastructure that will enable the computer science and networking community to develop and test novel architectures that could yield a faster, more secure internet. Dubbed “FABRIC,” the four-year, $20 million project is intended to support exploratory research, at scale, in computer networking, distributed computing systems, and next-generation applications.

  • R&D, not Greenland, Can Solve Our Rare Earth Problem

    While President Trump’s proposal to buy Greenland lit up social media feeds and left many scratching their heads, people who work on rare earth elements were not surprised. Greenland has rare earth elements, and currently most are mined in China. Julie Michelle Klinger and Roger Turner write that instead of periodically reviving rare earth scarcity myths to stoke anti-China sentiment or justify outlandish ideas like buying Greenland or pulverizing the moon, we can invest in several areas where people are already working. “Opening more mines like it’s 1590, buying territories like it’s 1867, or blasting asteroids like we’re in a 1950s sci-fi flick won’t solve the problem, because the problem is not a shortage of unrefined ores. Instead, smart R&D investments will bring our production, consumption and disposal practices into the 21st century. This means reducing waste, increasing recycling and repair, and cleaning up the dirtiest and most dangerous aspects of the supply chain.”

  • West Needs to Be Ready for Terrorist “Dirty” Cyber Bomb

    The West must take necessary precautions to prevent terrorists from launching a “dirty” cyber bomb, Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Vincent Stewart, who stepped down a few months ago from his post as deputy head of the US Cyber Command. Stewart that while the West took cyberattacks from nation-states seriously, it is vastly underestimating the danger of a massive ISIS or al-Qaeda cyberattack which could cripple a country’s entire infrastructure. While drawing attention to cyber terrorism, Stewart acknowledged that a nation state like Russia was still the most dangerous cyber adversary with “Russia viewing itself as a global power” and Russian President Vladimir “Putin believing he is almost the czar.”

  • New Clues Show How Russia’s Grid Hackers Aimed for Physical Destruction

    For nearly three years, the December 2016 cyberattack on the Ukrainian power grid has presented a menacing puzzle. Two days before Christmas that year, Russian hackers planted a unique specimen of malware in the network of Ukraine’s national grid operator, Ukrenergo. Just before midnight, they used it to open every circuit breaker in a transmission station north of Kyiv. The result was one of the most dramatic attacks in Russia’s , an unprecedented, automated blackout across a broad swath of Ukraine’s capital. In an insidious twist in the Ukrenergo case, Russia’s hackers apparently intended to trigger that destruction not at the time of the blackout itself but when grid operators turned the power back on, using the utility’s own recovery efforts against them.

  • In the Event of a Killer Asteroid, Volcanic Apocalypse, or Nuclear Holocaust, Mushrooms Could Save Humanity from Extinction

    About 66 million years ago, an asteroid plummeted through Earth’s atmosphere and crashed into the sea floor, creating an explosion over 6,500 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. The impact sent clouds of debris and sulfur into Earth’s atmosphere, blocking the sun’s light and warmth for about two years. Photosynthesis ground to a halt, which meant no more plant growth. The surviving dinosaurs starved to extinction. But fossil records show that fungi thrived in the aftermath. “Blot out the sun, and even the best-prepared survivalist, a master of the wilderness, will starve to death along with everyone else,” Bryan Walsh writes in his new book, End Times. In order to survive, he says, people would need to adopt sunlight-free agriculture — cultivating mushrooms, rats, and insects.

  • Can We Engineer Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis?

    The Climate Apocalypse is upon us. More carbon monoxide has been discharged into the atmosphere in the last 50 years than in the whole of human history that went before. Carbon traps heat and the world is getting hotter. Heat holds water vapor and so rainfall is getting more frequent while heat waves last longer. Ice at the poles melts and coastal cities face inundation as sea levels rise. The doom confidently predicted by many climate scientists around the world is being met by optimism among other scientists who are employing innovative technologies that may transform the debate and offer hope for us all. These technological breakthroughs will impact all aspects of climate change from carbon emissions to food production and all forms of energy.