• How Do Floods Become a Disaster?

    Since the 1990s, the number of fatalities from river floods has declined worldwide, but the amount of damage has risen sharply. Researchers attribute the decline in casualties to improved flood warning, technical protection measures and heightened hazard awareness.

  • It’s Official: July Was Earth’s Hottest Month on Record

    New global data show that July was the world’s hottest month ever recorded. The combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago.

  • Fire Today Will Impact Water Tomorrow

    The effects of wildfire don’t end when the flames go out. There can be environmental consequences for years to come—and keeping an eye on water is key.

  • Small Towns Should Focus on Resilience

    With heatwaves, bushfires, and floods, small towns and their surrounding communities have confronted a combination of successive disasters fueled by climate change. And it’s predicted to only get worse. “So, the challenge for all of us, but particularly areas at increasing risk of climate-fueled disasters, is to get ahead of what’s coming,” says one expert. “We need to ask: what we can do to reduce or even prevent some of these disasters from happening?”

  • How Have Communities Been Faring During COVID-19? And How Will Lessons Learned Inform Future Response and Planning?

    Now may be a good time to examine the choices communities made during the last year to see how these approaches shape continued COVID-19 response and recovery and help build resilience for future pandemic response.

  • Earthquake Forecasts a Step Closer to Reality

    Earthquakes — like lightning — strike unpredictably. For decades, scientists have struggled to reliably give forecasts for major earthquake hotspots, but now, an international team of scientists has embarked on a new initiative to do just that.

  • Flood Risks in Germany Were Clearly Underestimated

    Expert say that to better estimate flood risks, risk maps should also consider historical data. The floods which devastated Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia caused 15 confirmed deaths, with more than two dozen people still unaccounted for. The damage is estimated at more than EUR 10 billion.

  • Middle-Class Residents Prefer to Stay Put after Floodwaters Recede

    Flood disasters lead some people to move far from the places they had called home. A new study finds that middle-class people who made long-term plans to stay in their neighborhoods before they flooded are less likely to relocate even if they suffered significant damage.

  • Global Warming Increased U.S. Crop Insurance Losses by $27 Billion in 27 Years

    Higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by $27 billion between 1991 and 2017, according to new estimates from Stanford researchers. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other severe weather events.

  • Action Essential to Protect Water Security from Climate Impacts

    A new report says that urgent action is needed to protect global water security from the impacts of climate and climate change.

  • July: U.S. West Hit with Extreme Heat, Drought, Unrelenting Wildfires

    July was an exceptional month of triple threats in the western United States: record heat, drought and raging wildfires. Other parts of the country saw extreme rainfall. The average temperature last month across the contiguous U.S. was 75.5 degrees F (1.9 degrees above average).

  • Dire Outlook on Global Warming: IPCC

    The IPCC warns that in twenty years, the world will likely reach — and even surpass — the 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold that scientists have predicted will lead to irreversible changes such as melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and devastating floods and droughts around the world.

  • For Forest Towns, 3 Wildfire Lessons as Dixie Fire Destroys Historic Greenville, California

    How can people prepare for a future that’s unlike anything their communities have ever experienced? The emergence of extreme fires in recent years and the resulting devastation shows that communities need better means to anticipate mounting dangers, and underscores how settlement patterns, land management and lifestyles will have to change to prevent even larger catastrophes. Our research team of landscape architects, ecologists, social scientists and computer scientists has been exploring and testing strategies to help.

  • Four Explanations for Why Europe Is Burning

    Barely halfway through summer, the area burned by wildfires raging through the Balkans, Italy, and the southeastern Mediterranean has already eclipsed yearly averages.

  • National Security Agencies Must Include Climate Risks and Their Analyses

    The Pentagon and other federal agencies were given a July deadline to draw up plans for potential climate risks, under an executive order by President Biden. Antonio Busalacchi and Sherri Goodman write that such plans are an essential first step, but the greater challenge for national security agencies is to continue to redirect their focus to changing climate conditions that pose a complex, two-pronged threat: social and political instability overseas and damage to U.S. infrastructure.