• Predictive Models of Wildfire Behavior

    New partnership will work to Advance fire research capabilities to help support the work of fire-, land-, and emergency managers.

  • Bolstering Planetary Defense

    A new survey identifies scientific priorities and opportunities and makes funding recommendations to maximize the advancement of planetary science, astrobiology, and planetary defense in the next ten years.

  • Climate Change Will Transform How We Live, but Tech and Policy Experts See Reason for Optimism

    By Robert Lempert and Elisabeth Gilmore

    Climate change has advanced so far, it’s now inevitable that societies will either transform themselves or be transformed. Existing solutions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help people adjust to impacts of climate change that can’t be avoided. The problem is that these solutions aren’t being deployed fast enough.

  • How Do We Learn to Live with Extreme Events?

    From weather dictionaries to AI physics, new approaches try to anticipate the next catastrophic flood, tornado, or hurricane.

  • Many Factors Influenced the Severity of Burns from Oregon's 2020 Megafires

    In early September 2020, severe winds, high heat, and prolonged drought conditions led to the explosive growth of wildfires along the western slopes of the Cascades Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. New research confirms that extreme winds over the Labor Day holiday were the primary driver of the destructive force of the fires yet demonstrates how forest vegetation structure (e.g., canopy height, the age of trees, etc.) and topography played a significant role in burn severity patterns.

  • U.S. Flood Damage Risk Is Underestimated

    Researchers used artificial intelligence to predict where flood damage is likely to happen in the continental United States, suggesting that recent flood maps from FEMA do not capture the full extent of flood risk.

  • Drenching Rains Pose Greater Threat to Fire-Damaged Areas in West

    Areas in the western U.S. scarred by wildfires now face even more dangers: drenching rains. These rains inundate the burnt areas, causing significant destruction, including debris flows, mudslides, and flash floods, because the denuded landscape cannot easily contain the drenching moisture.

  • New Wildfire Detection System Receives Funding Boost

    The high intensity of the recent fire seasons in Oregon, coupled with the increasing wildfire risk this year as approximately three-quarters of the state is now in severe drought conditions, has highlighted how critical a new project, aiming to help with the early detection and monitoring of wildfires, is — both for firefighters and the general public.

  • Redefining the Longest Drought

    Maps of the American West have featured ever darker shades of red over the past two decades. In some areas, conditions have blown past severe and extreme drought into exceptional drought. But rather than add more superlatives to the descriptions, one group of scientists believes it’s time to reconsider the very definition of drought.

  • Testing Similitude Laws of Multistory Masonry Buildings

    Earthquakes and other stressors on buildings pose a threat to their structural integrity that endangers human life. It helps to be able to calculate the behavior of buildings and test with small-scale models.

  • At-Risk Communities to Invest in Disaster Mitigation Projects

    Bipartisan legislation to make permanent FEMA National Risk Index (NRI), an online tool that utilizes data to identify communities that are most vulnerable to natural disasters, has advanced in the Senate. The bill would require FEMA to use data from the NRI, or a similar tool, o designate the communities across the nation that are most in need of mitigation projects – and help them access federal funding and support to plan for mitigation and resilience projects.

  • With Threats of Nuclear War and Climate Disaster Growing, America’s “Bunker Fantasy” Is Woefully Inadequate

    By David L. Pike

    Faced with a Congress unwilling to fund large-scale sheltering measures — although in Europe and elsewhere, vast public shelters were built, the community bomb shelter was almost universally rejected in the U.S. as communistic — the Kennedy administration decided instead to encourage the private development of the individual shelter industry and to establish dedicated spaces within existing public structures.

  • Coastal Home Buyers Are Ignoring Rising Flood Risks, Despite Clear Warnings and Rising Insurance Premiums

    By Risa Palm and Toby W. Bolsen

    Homebuyers along the U.S. coasts can check each property’s flood risk as easily as they check the size of the bedrooms – most coastal real estate listings now include future flood risk details that take climate change into account. In Apollo Beach, for example, many of the properties are at least 9 out of 10 on the flood risk scale. That knowledge isn’t stopping homebuyers, though.

  • Onset of Modern Sea-Level Rise Began in 1863, International Study Finds

    Researchers have found that modern rates of sea-level rise began emerging in 1863 as the Industrial Age intensified, coinciding with evidence for early ocean warming and glacier melt.

  • Tornadoes, Climate Change Make Dixie the new Tornado Alley

    By Ernest Agee

    Studies do show tornadoes getting more frequent, more intense and more likely to come in swarms. Moreover, studies show that, statistically, there is an emergence of another center of tornado activity in the Southeast, centered around Alabama. Oklahoma still has tornadoes, of course. But the statistical center of Tornado Alley has moved eastward.