• DHS S&T Selects Two Industry Partners for Second Phase Wildland Fire Sensor Research

    DHS S&T selected two industry partners for the second phase of research on wildland fire sensor. The first phase research was conducted in June 2021, and the next phase of the program will focus on hardening the sensors for longer-term field deployments.

  • How Years of Fighting Every Wildfire Helped Fuel the Western Megafires of Today

    Why are wildfires getting worse? Climate change is a big part of it. But, ironically, a chronic lack of fire in Western landscapes also contributes to increased fire severity and vulnerability to wildfires. It allows dry brush and live and dead trees to build up, and with more people living in wildland areas to spark blazes, pressure to fight every forest fire has increased the risk of extreme fire.

  • Fire Season Heats Up, and Burnout Looms

    To the dangerous conditions such as scorching temperatures, drought across 90 percent of the West, and intense wildfire, we must now add another: a looming crisis of burnout among wildland firefighters.

  • Compact Lifesaving Drone for Beach Rescue Teams

    A student designs compact lifesaving drone for beach rescue teams after witnessing teenage surfer battle dangerous waves. As part of his final year project, the student designed a small, compact drone that flies above hazardous waters to locate individuals in distress and deploys a buoyancy aid that automatically inflates when hitting the water, helping casualties stay afloat while they wait for a rescue team to reach them.

  • “Less Than 1% Probability” that Increase in Earth’s Energy Imbalance Occurred Naturally

    The fundamental energy balance sheet for our planet is straightforward: Sunlight in, reflected and emitted energy out. If the Earth’s oceans and land surfaces send as much energy back up to space as the sun shines down on us, then our planet maintains equilibrium. But for decades the system has been out of balance, resulting in the growing number, intensity, lethality, and damage of extreme weather events. The reason: The increasing emission of greenhouse gases.

  • How Summer 2021 Has Changed Our Understanding of Extreme Weather

    A series of record-breaking natural disasters have swept the globe in recent weeks. Many of these events have shocked climate scientists. Some scientists are beginning to worry they might have underestimated how quickly the climate will change. Or have we just misunderstood extreme weather events and how our warming climate will influence them?

  • Preventing Human-Induced Earthquakes

    When humans pump large volumes of fluid into the ground, they can set off potentially damaging earthquakes, depending on the underlying geology. This has been the case in certain oil- and gas-producing regions. have developed a method to manage such human-induced seismicity, and have demonstrated that the technique successfully reduced the number of earthquakes occurring in an active oil field.

  • Climate Tipping Points Are Now Imminent: Scientists

    Around 13,000 researchers have called for urgent action to slow down the climate emergency as extreme weather patterns shock the world. They listed three core measures.

  • A 20-Foot Sea Wall Won’t Save Miami – How Living Structures Can Help Protect the Coast and Keep the Paradise Vibe

    There’s no question that the city is at increasing risk of flooding as sea level rises and storms intensify with climate change. But the sea wall the Army Corps is proposing – protecting only 6 miles of downtown and the financial district from a storm surge – can’t save Miami and Dade County. There are more effective – and cheaper solutions.

  • Extreme Heat Waves in a Warming World Don’t Just Break Records – They Shatter Them

    Scientists have warned for over 50 years about increases in extreme events arising from subtle changes in average climate, but many people have been shocked by the ferocity of recent weather disasters. We need to understand two things about climate change’s role in extreme weather like this: First, humans have pumped so much carbon dioxide and other planet-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that what’s “normal” has shifted. Second, not every extreme weather event is connected to global warming.

  • Cities Unprepared for Intense, Frequent Heat Waves

    Urban centers across the world are unprepared to face brutal, climate change-driven natural disasters. Many emerging global climate risks, such as heat stress, will be especially damaging in urban areas, because of urban infrastructure both exacerbates and fails to handle extreme heat. With over 50 percent of the world’s population residing in densely populated urban areas, heat-related deaths, economic disruption, and infrastructural damage are becoming a growing concern.

  • Protecting Lives on the Wildland Fire Line

    Unlike first responders who fight structural fires, wildland firefighters are unable to use the current standard respirator systems, which are heavy, limited to 45 minutes of air and are too bulky. Since the current standard equipment for respiratory protection is a bandanna, DHS S&T and partners designed the Wildfire Respirator around a lightweight mask covering just the mouth and nose, relying on filtration rather than on heavy tanks of compressed air.

  • Massive California Blaze Triggers Lightning Fears

    Smoke columns from fires in California could spawn lightning storms that cause more blazes, experts warn. Several communities have been evacuated. Fires in California have already destroyed three times more vegetation this year than they had at this time last year, which was the worst in the state’s history.

  • We Can’t Predict the Next Wildfire Disaster – but We Can Plan for It

    When it comes to wildfire threats to communities, we are navigating uncharted waters. Under extreme conditions, we cannot stop a spreading wildfire. When they occur, the only option is to contain it or evacuate. So start planning your route now.

  • DOD, Navy Confront Climate Change Challenges in Southern Virginia

    The Navy and Defense Department have efforts underway to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change in one of the most military-dense regions of the country.