• More Places to Experience Floods as Extreme Weather Events Become More Frequent and Intensify

    As extreme weather events become more frequent and intensify, the number of people and places exposed to flooding events is likely to grow. But until now, surprisingly little was known about how floodplain development patterns vary across communities.

  • Floods, Rising Sea Levels Push Planned Internal Migration

    Climate change could force billions to move by the end of the century, displaced by floods and rising sea levels. Some communities are already adapting through managed retreat and moving people to other areas.

  • The Last of Us: Why We Should All Think Like Preppers – and How to Do It

    “Prepping” – as it is widely known – is a way of anticipating and adapting to impending conditions of calamity by preparing homes, rooms and bunkers to survive in. Despite attempts by preppers to push back on stereotypes, prepping does still come with associations of doomsday and apocalyptic thinking. If done in the right way, however, prepping – thinking ahead and being proactive – is the opposite of panic, irrationality, or conspiratorial tendencies.

  • Few Island Nations with Potential to Produce Enough Food in a Nuclear Winter

    New Zealand is one of only a few island nations that could continue to produce enough food to feed its population in a nuclear winter, researchers have found. The term “nuclear winter” refers to reduced sunlight and cooler temperatures caused by soot in the atmosphere following a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Earthquake Footage Shows Turkey’s Buildings Collapsing Like Pancakes. An Expert Explains Why

    Many of the collapsed buildings appear to have been built from concrete without adequate seismic reinforcement. Seismic building codes in this region suggest these buildings should be able to sustain strong earthquakes (where the ground accelerates by 30% to 40% of the normal gravity) without incurring this type of complete failure. The 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes appear to have caused shaking in the range of 20 to 50% of gravity. A proportion of these buildings thus failed at shaking intensities lower than the “design code.”

  • Gauging Losses and Lessons in Turkey's Unfolding Earthquake Calamity

    As earthquake engineers stress, most of the time, buildings kill people, not the shaking itself. Many of the buildings destroyed in the quake had “soft floors” – ground-level retail spaces with very little reinforcement supporting far heavier residential floors above; buildings where, for tax purposes, higher floors jutted out beyond the dimensions of the ground floor; or homes where floors were added as families expanded. Engineers call such structures “rubble in waiting.”

  • Supporting Dams with Innovative Materials

    There are about 91,000 dams in the United States. About half the dams built in the past century and a half are starting to show their age, with resulting wear and tear. Severe weather events, extreme temperatures, erosion and rising water levels are all straining the infrastructure and exacerbating the impacts of deterioration and aging processes. In many cases, simply replacing the dams and levees is not a viable option due to high costs.

  • Climate Change-Driven Water Crises More Severe Than Previously Thought

    The interference of climate change with the planet’s water cycle is a well established fact. New analyses suggest that in many places, runoff responds more sensitively than previously assumed.

  • Western Wildfires Destroyed 246% More Homes and Buildings Over the Past Decade

    It can be tempting to think that the recent wildfire disasters in communities across the West were unlucky, one-off events, but evidence is accumulating that points to a trend. In nearly every Western state, more homes and buildings were destroyed by wildfire over the past decade than the decade before, revealing increasing vulnerability to wildfire disasters.

  • There’s a Deal to Save the Colorado River — If California Doesn’t Blow It Up

    After months of tense negotiation, a half-dozen states have reached an agreement to drastically cut their water usage and stabilize the drought-stricken Colorado River — as long as California doesn’t blow up the deal. The plan would cut water use on the river by roughly a quarter, drying up farms and subdivisions across the Southwest.

  • Rats Sniff for Victims Under Rubble

    Rats are commonly known as pests and spreaders of disease and many people’s worst nightmare. Yet they are very clever creatures, and can be trained just as well as dogs. Researchers train African hamster rats to search for earthquake victims under rubble.

  • FloodNet Tracking System Set for Expansion Across All Five NYC Boroughs

    FloodNet, the first-ever New York City flood-monitoring network, has received $7.2 million in city funding that will greatly increase the number of monitored flood-prone locations from 31 to 500 over the next five years. The network expansion is slated to begin in February.

  • Exxon Disputed Climate Findings for Years. Its Scientists Knew Better.

    Projections created internally by ExxonMobil starting in the late 1970s on the impact of fossil fuels on climate change were very accurate, even surpassing those of some academic and governmental scientists. The oil company executives sought to mislead the public about the industry’s role in climate change, contradicting the findings of the company’s own scientists and drawing a growing number of lawsuits by states and cities.

  • Doomsday Clock Set at 90 Seconds to Midnight

    The Doomsday Clock was set at 90 seconds to midnight, due largely but not exclusively to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased risk of nuclear escalation. The new Clock time was also influenced by continuing threats posed by the climate crisis and the breakdown of global norms and institutions needed to mitigate risks associated with advancing technologies and biological threats.

  • Half of U.S. Coastal Communities Underestimate Sea Level Risks

    Many communities in the United States underestimate how much sea level will rise in their area, according to a new study. In many cases, especially in Southern states, local policymakers rely on one average estimate of sea level rise for their area rather than accounting for more extreme scenarios.