• FloodsA Warming California Will See Reservoirs Overwhelmed by Floods

    By the 2070s, global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, delivering a double whammy that will likely overwhelm California’s reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much of the state.

  • Coastal challengesFacing Climate Threats, Landmarks May Have to Adapt and “Transform”

    How much effort should be spent trying to keep Venice looking like Venice – even as it faces rising sea levels that threaten the city with more frequent extreme flooding? As climate change threatens cultural sites, preservationists and researchers are asking whether these iconic locations should be meticulously restored or should be allowed to adapt and “transform.”

  • Supply-chain resilienceLet’s Not Forget the Important Lessons the Coronavirus Taught Us about Supply Chains

    By Sarah Golden

    Resilience is priceless when you really need it. It turns out our economic systems are more fragile than we thought. As locations across the world implemented “shelter-in-place” orders in an effort to flatten the coronavirus contagion curve last spring, we got a real-time lesson in how intertwined our transportation and distribution systems are. It was staggering to see how efforts to curb the human toll of a pandemic rippled across every sector and created incalculable emotional and social impacts.

  • Coastal challengesBay Area Coastal Flooding Triggers Region-Wide Commute Disruptions

    Researchers have modeled how coastal flooding will impact commutes in the Bay Area over the next twenty years. Regions with sparse road networks will have some of the worst commute delays, regardless of their distances from the coast.

  • Climate crisis“Worst case” CO2 Emissions Scenario Best Match for Assessing Climate Risk: Report

    Four scenarios known as Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) were developed in 2005 to describe the potential scope and impact of global warming. The worst-case scenario was RCP 8.5, referring to the concentration of carbon that delivers global warming at an average of 8.5 watts per square meter across the planet (the best-case scenario was RCP 2.6). Scientists now argue that the RCP 8.5 CO2 emissions pathway — the worst-case scenario — is the most appropriate for conducting assessments of climate change impacts by 2050.

  • Coastal challengesMore Frequent Coastal Flooding Threatens 20 percent of global GDP

    Coastal flooding across the world is set to rise by around 50 percent due to climate change in the next 80 years, endangering millions more people and trillions of dollars more of coastal infrastructure. The land area exposed to an extreme flood event will increase by more than 250,000 square kilometers globally, an increase of 48 percent or over 800,000 square kilometers. This would mean about 77 million more people will be at risk of experiencing flooding, a rise of 52 percent to 225 million. The economic risk in terms of the infrastructure exposed will rise by up to $14.2 trillion, which represents 20 percent of global GDP.

  • Coastal challengesImpact of Sea Level Rise on Property

    A new study reveals that urgent action is needed to protect billions of dollars in real estate investment across South Florida due to impacts of sea level rise over the next several decades. The aim of the report is to cast light on the issue and clarify the alternatives available to South Florida, which embraces the four counties of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. These counties together generate more than $337 billion in personal income annually with a combined real property value assessed at more than $833 billion.

  • Seismic noiseSeismic Background Noise Drastically Reduced Due to COVID-19 Lockdown Measures

    Global COVID-19 “lockdown” measures - the quarantines, physical isolation, travel restrictions and widespread closures of services and industry that countries around the world have implemented in 2020 - resulted in a months-long reduction in global seismic noise by up to 50 percent, representing the longest and most prominent global seismic noise reduction in recorded history.

  • DroughtsTexas to Face Driest Conditions of Last 1,000 Years

    Texas’ future climate will have drier summers and decreasing water supplies for much of the remainder of the twenty-first century — likely resulting in the driest conditions in the last 1,000 years, according to research led by Texas A&M University scientists.

  • MegadisastersComing Soon? A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters

    By Kevin Krajick

    When it comes to calamities, Jeffrey Schlegelmilch thinks big. In his upcoming book, Rethinking Readiness: A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters, he explores menaces that potentially could change not just lives or communities, but entire societies. He groups these into five categories: climate change; cyber threats; nuclear war; failures of critical infrastructure such as electric grids; and biological perils including pandemics. Schlegelmilch answered questions about megadisasters in light of recent events.

  • FloodsFlood Bot: New Flood Warning Sensors

    Ellicott City, Maryland, suffered devastating floods in 2016 and 2018. The disasters left residents and officials wondering how technology could help predict future severe weather, and save lives and property. Scientists offer an answer: The Flood Bot network.

  • Flood protectionVenice Ambitious Anti-Flood System Passes First Trial

    Venice On Friday conducted the first test of a controversial dam system made up of 78 inflatable barriers, aiming to protect the city from severe flooding. The ambitious and costly dam system, launched in 2003, has been plagued by corruption and is nearly a decade behind schedule. It will becoe fully operational by the end of 20201, and it is designed to hold water surges as high as 10 feet.

  • Climate & conflictRoadmap for Studying Link between Climate and Armed Conflict

    Climate change—from rising temperatures and more severe heavy rain, to drought—is increasing risks for economies, human security, and conflict globally. Scientists are offering ways better to assess the climate-conflict link to help societies manage the complex risks of increased violence from a changing climate.

  • HurricanesFuture Texas Hurricanes: Fast Like Ike or Slow Like Harvey?

    Climate change will intensify winds that steer hurricanes north over Texas, increasing the odds for fast-moving storms like 2008’s Ike compared with slow-movers like 2017’s Harvey, according to new research.

  • DroughtsIncreases in Greenhouse Gas, Particulate Pollution Emissions Drive Drying around the Globe

    Researchers have identified two signatures or “fingerprints” that explain why arid conditions are spreading worldwide, and why the Western United States has tended toward drought conditions since the 1980s while the African Sahel has recovered from its prolonged drought.