• Achieving Foundational Security for Food Systems

    U.S. cereal crops such as corn, rice, and wheat feed hundreds of millions of Americans and millions more around the world. Ensuring active defense of these and other staple food grasses is a critical national security priority. New DARPA project seeks advanced threat-detection and warning capabilities for crop defense.

  • Winners of AI for Critical Mineral Assessment Competition

    Winning solutions in DARPA-USGS competition will help the USGS automate key steps in evaluating geologic maps of mineral deposits that are vital to the U.S. economy and security.

  • Insurance for a Changing Climate

    Among the many facets of the economy being challenged and changed by warming global temperatures is the insurance industry. Damaging extreme events such as wildfires, hurricanes, and floods are happening with greater frequency and intensity, which leaves insurance companies facing larger financial risks and paying out more in claims — and it also leaves policy holders paying higher prices to insure their homes and businesses.

  • Coughing Up Billions of Dollars to Save Florida’s Insurance Market

    In the three months since Hurricane Ian struck Florida, the state’s fragile property insurance market has been teetering on the brink of collapse. The historic storm caused over $50 billion in damage, and dealt a body blow to an industry that was already struggling to stay standing: Several insurance companies had already collapsed this year even before the hurricane, and major funders are now poised to abandon those that remain.

  • China Launches WTO Dispute Over U.S. Chip Export Controls

    Capping a year of increasing tension between Washington and Beijing over advanced chips used in everything from smartphones to weapons of mass destruction, China has initiated a trade dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States for imposing wide-ranging semiconductor export controls on China.

  • McDonald's Sets Targets for Reducing Antibiotics in Its Beef Supply

    Following criticism that it was backtracking on a commitment to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in its beef supply chain, fast-food giant McDonald’s has set targets for responsible antibiotic use in the countries that supply most of its beef.

  • New Bill Proposes Banning TikTok in the U.S.

    Both the administration and Congress have moved to limit, or even ban, TikTok in the United States because of worries about China using the Chinese-owned platform to gather personal data on millions of Americans. Justin Sherman writes that “all told, it is a noteworthy piece of legislation, and it delineates between the risk of data access and the risk of content manipulation better than then-President Trump’s executive order on TikTok.”

  • $4.8M to Address National Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage

    Oregon State University has received $4.8 million from the National Science Foundation to help the United States close a big gap between the number of cybersecurity job openings and the number of qualified applicants for those positions.

  • Wildfires Threats Not Commonly Disclosed by U.S. Firms Despite Risk to Economy

    Wildfires in the United States, especially in Western states, increasingly pose a significant risk to entire communities, often destroying homes, businesses and lives. Yet U.S. firms rarely report their wildfire risks in required federal filings and instead bury such risks in nonspecific risk disclosures.

  • Phosphorus Supply Is Increasingly Disrupted – We Are Sleepwalking into a Global Food Crisis

    Without phosphorus food cannot be produced, since all plants and animals need it to grow. Put simply: if there is no phosphorus, there is no life. All farmers therefore need access to it, but 85% of the world’s remaining high-grade phosphate rock is concentrated in just five countries, making the global food system extremely vulnerable to disruptions.

  • A Water War Is Brewing Over the Dwindling Colorado River

    Diminished by climate change and overuse, the river can no longer provide the water states try to take from it.

  • Weather Is Again Determining Economic Outcomes

    Europe’s energy crisis has brought the return of weather-based economics. “The crisis is a reminder that, for all their technological sophistication, even rich-world economies must rely on the munificence of nature,” the Economist writes, adding that “in the absence of a transition to green forms of energy the weather would begin to play an even bigger role in economics.”

  • Cryptocurrency Crashes Recall the Wild Days of “Free Banking”

    The U.S. used to have hundreds of unregulated private currencies backed by shaky assets. Sound familiar?

  • To Quit Russian Gas, EU Invests Billions in LNG

    The European Union is investing billions in infrastructure in its effort to replace Russian fuels with liquefied natural gas. This could prove to be a dead end — both for taxpayers and for the climate.

  • 2022’s U.S. Climate Disasters: A Tale of Too Much Rain – and Too Little

    The year 2022 will be remembered across the U.S. for its devastating flooding and storms – and also for its extreme heat waves and droughts, including one so severe it briefly shut down traffic on the Mississippi River.