• DAM SAFETYProbable Maximum Flood Events Will Significantly Increase Over Next Decades

    The flood capacity of dams could be at greater risk of being exceeded due to out-of-date modelling for potential maximum rainfall. A new study concludes that the rainfall model that engineers use to help design critical infrastructure such as large dams and nuclear power plants need to be updated to account for climate change.

  • FLOODSImproving Canada’s Resilience to Flooding

    Climate change is having a direct impact on natural disasters, including flooding, increasing the scale, frequency, and unpredictability of these events. The government of Canada said that is why it is making investments to strengthen Canada’s resilience to climate change and reduce the impact of flooding on our communities.

  • FLOODSLow-Cost Sensor Records the Level of Rivers

    Researchers have developed a method that allows the water level of rivers to be monitored around the clock. The cost-effective sensor is for instance suitable for area-wide flood warning systems.

  • DISASTER INSURANCEWith Climate Impacts Growing, Insurance Companies Face Big Challenges

    By Renee Cho

    The impacts of climate change are all around us: sea level rise, severe heat waves, drought, extreme rainfall, more powerful storms. These impacts are making natural disasters more intense and more frequent. Losses from each disaster—drought and wildfires in the southwest, severe storms in the Midwest, flooding in Kentucky and Missouri, and hurricanes in the southeast—have exceeded $1 billion, with the cumulative cost of disasters over the last five years reaching $788.4 billion.

  • WATER SECURITYMaintaining Mountain Snowpacks Essential for Preserving Valuable Freshwater Resource

    Snowcapped mountains generate mountain water runoff and snowmelt, which flow down to streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Around a quarter of the world depends on these natural “water towers” to replenish downstream reservoirs and groundwater aquifers for urban water supplies, agricultural irrigation, and ecosystem support. Carbon mitigation strategies are needed to maintain snowpack throughout the Americas. 

  • NUCLEAR POWERFukushima Fears Notwithstanding, Japan Still Depends on Nuclear Power

    By Nik Martin

    The 2011 Fukushima disaster helped seal the fate of nuclear power in Japan, or so it seemed. Tokyo now plans to extend the life of its nuclear plants and is considering new smaller, safer reactors.

  • CLIMATE CHALLENGESEarth Had its 4th-Warmest October on Record

    The planet added another warm month to a warm year, with October 2022 ranking as the world’s fourth-warmest October in 143 years. The Northern Hemisphere saw its second-warmest October and Europe saw its warmest October on record.

  • ARGUMENT: THE WAGNER GROUP AS FTOIt’s Time to Designate Wagner Group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

    The international sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have not targeted a key component in the Kremlin’s toolbox for international terror and coercion: the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group, which is owned by Vladimir Putin confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin. Wagner Group’s activities in Ukraine have been notorious since 2014, but they also have had a persistent presence in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR), and—most recently—Mali.

  • POWER-GRID RESIIENCEMore Heat, Humidity as a Result of Climate Change Challenge Power Grid

    Increasing heat and humidity, and the intensification of more-frequent extreme weather events, are a few of the challenges climate change poses for the nation’s power grid. A new study recommends adaptations to protect grid reliability, resiliency.

  • DISASTERSUsing 1980s Environmental Modeling to Mitigate Future Compound Disasters

    On March 11, 2011, multiple catastrophes in Japan were triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, including the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This event, also known as the 3/11 disaster, is what is known as a compound disaster. Now that over a decade has passed since this event, researchers are investigating how to prevent the next compound disaster.

  • COASTAL CHALLENGESSea-Level Rise “May Cross Two Meters by 2100”

    By Gilbert Felongco

    Land subsidence could worsen sea-level rise effects in the Asia Pacific region. Most islands in the Pacific are subsiding, presenting a challenge to infrastructure. Pacific Island Countries have low adaptative capacity to climate change.

  • FLOOD BARRIERSA Decade After Sandy, Manhattan’s Flood Barrier Is Finally in Sight — Sort of

    By Jake Bittle

    In the wake of the October 2012 Superstorm Sandy, an ambitious project, called the “Big U,” was launched, aiming to wrap the island of Manhattan in miles of berms and artificial shorelines, creating a huge grassy shield that would both increase urban green space and defend the city from storm surge. The “Big U” shows how climate adaptation can succeed. It also shows how hard it is.

  • DISASTER INSURANCEFEMA Projects Up to $3.5 - $5.3 Billion in Hurricane Ian Flood Insurance Claims Payments

    As of Nov. 10, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received more than 44,000 flood claims from Hurricane Ian and has paid nearly $437 million to policyholders. FEMA’s initial estimate projects Hurricane Ian could potentially result in NFIP claims losses between $3.5 - $5.3 billion, including loss adjustment expenses.

  • GEOENGINEERINGAs the Planet Warms, Risks of Geoengineering the Climate Mount

    By Mike Copage

    Because a climate-disrupted future remains possible, another danger needs our attention. As the impacts of warming become more extreme, countries are more likely to turn to riskier measures to combat them, including geoengineering.

  • WATER SECURITYManaging Water Resources in a Low-to-No-Snow Future

    With mountain snowpacks shrinking in the western U.S., new Berkeley Lab study analyzes when a low-to-no-snow future might arrive and implications for water management.