• Will London run out of water?

    The U.K.’s Environment Agency warns in a new report that England could suffer major water shortages by 2030 and that London is particularly at risk. The BBC agrees, placing London on its recent list of 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water along with the likes of Cape Town, where an ongoing water crisis has caused social and economic disruption. There are limits to what can be achieved just by fixing leaky pipes or getting people to water their lawns less often. Though such measures are useful, they will not safeguard London’s water supplies against the more extreme combinations of growth and climate change.

  • NIST updates Risk Management Framework to include privacy considerations

    Augmenting its efforts to protect the U.S. critical assets from cybersecurity threats as well as protect individuals’ privacy, NIST has issued a draft update to its Risk Management Framework (RMF) to help organizations more easily meet these goals.

  • We can get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources: Scientists

    Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilize the grid and cause blackouts? Scientists say that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100 percent renewable future.

  • China’s trillion-dollar infrastructure program “riskiest environmental project in human history”

    Experts say that China’s plan to crisscross half of the Earth with massive transportation and energy projects is environmentally the riskiest venture ever undertaken. The experts urged China to undertake rigorous strategic planning before embarking on its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which will ultimately span at least 64 nations across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Pacific region.

  • Scientists successfully vitrify three gallons of radioactive tank waste

    In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have vitrified low-activity waste from underground storage tanks at Hanford, immobilizing the radioactive and chemical materials within a durable glass waste form.

  • Expanding U.S. electric transmission systems to bolster grid resilience

    Five major global companies—all of which have ambitious clean energy goals in the U.S.—have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to intensify its focus on expanding the nation’s electric transmission system as one key part of its push for grid resilience.

  • Engineers solve the 500-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa mystery

    Why has the Leaning Tower of Pisa survived the strong earthquakes that have hit the region since the middle ages? After studying available seismological, geotechnical and structural information, researchers concluded that the survival of the Tower can be attributed to a phenomenon known as dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI).

  • Helping rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana

    As coastal lands in Louisiana erode, researchers, environmentalists and engineers are all searching for ways to preserve the marsh coastline. Now, researchers have developed a model to help stakeholders figure out what factors they need to consider to rebuild land in this fragile wetland.

  • America’s water infrastructure is failing -- but we could start fixing it

    America’s water is under threat from many sides. It faces pollution problems, outdated infrastructure, rising costs, and unprecedented droughts and rainfall patterns as the climate changes. For decades, the U.S. has been a leader in water management. Now we’re falling behind; in the latest infrastructure report card, dams, drinking water and wastewater all received D ratings. Experts offer solutions.

  • Americans use more solar, wind energy as use of coal declines

    Americans used more solar and wind energy in 2017 compared to the previous year. Solar energy accounted for 32 percent, driven by strong growth in large-scale installations and strong growth in residential installations. Wind energy also was up 11 percent. Coal plants continue to be taken offline due to environmental impacts and the high cost of operation relative to cheaper and cleaner natural gas.

  • Aliens can’t reach Earth because of gravity

    If there are aliens out there, on large planets like Jupiter or on slightly smaller planets called super-Earths, why have they not yet come to visit us? Scientists say aliens living on distant planets can’t cruise the cosmos because of gravity. To launch the equivalent of an Apollo moon mission, a rocket on a super-Earth would need to have a mass of about 440 000 tons because of fuel requirements.

  • Natural gas prices, not “war on coal,” key to coal power decline

    New research finds that steep declines in the use of coal for power generation over the past decade were caused largely by less expensive natural gas and the availability of wind energy – not by environmental regulations. “From 2008 to 2013, coal dropped from about 50 percent of U.S. power generation to around 30 percent,” says one researcher, adding that “the changes in coal power production were actually driven largely by capitalism.”

  • Critical industrial software flaws left U.S. infrastructure vulnerable to hackers

    Tenable Research, a Maryland-based cybersecurity firm, has discovered vulnerabilities in two applications widely used by manufacturers and power plant operators. These vulnerabilitiers may have given hackers a foothold in U.S. critical infrastructureg.

  • EU supports Africa single digital market

    The EU said it was committed to helping Africa build a single digital market so the continent could enjoy the transformative power of e-commerce, as is the case in like Europe. The EU said that assuring affordable broadband connectivity, improving digital literacy and skills, promoting digital entrepreneurship, and using digitalization would be an enabler of sustainable development by deploying e-government, e-commerce, e-health, e-education, and e-agriculture in Africa.

  • South Florida mangroves are on a death march, marking a new era for Earth

    The problem is so clear, it might be the first real sign Earth has entered a new geological era. Using a combination of aerial photographs from the 1930s, modern satellite imagery and ground sediment samples, tracked the mangroves’ westward retreat from the coastal Everglades. Now, their backs are to the wall – literally.