• 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.

  • High-Tide Flood Risk Is Accelerating, Putting Coastal Economies at Risk

    The frequency of high-tide flooding along the U.S. coasts has doubled since 2000, and it’s expected to increase five to 15 times more in the next 30 years. Already, areas at risk from sea level rise have seen decreases in property values, particularly where cities and homeowners haven’t taken steps to increase flood resilience. Insurance premiums are beginning to increase to reflect actual risk, and bond ratings are increasingly being tied to the resilience efforts of communities.

  • How Do We Prepare for Extreme Flooding?

    As the floodwaters recede following the devastating deluge in western Europe, survivors have begun the long, difficult process of cleaning up and rebuilding. But what can be done to reduce future risks?

  • Cold Weather Cost New England Electric Customers Nearly $1.8 Billion in One Month

    Constraints in the supply of natural gas have led to nearly a quarter of all unscheduled power plant outages in New England in the last decade. A new study suggests ways to mitigate fuel shortages.

  • Germany's Water Management Caught between Flood and Drought

    For a long while now, there has been talk of a drought in Germany; now, many regions have been deluged with water. How do authorities prepare for these two extremes?

  • Report from Europe’s Flood Zone: Researcher Calls Out Early Warning System Gridlock amid Shocking Loss of Life

    In my Ph.D. research, I study how we can effectively adapt to the consequences of increasing severe weather events under climate change and what can be done to prepare for them and mitigate their impact. One area I’m interested in is early warning systems, or the lack thereof, during extreme weather events, such as the recent floods in western Europe. While the climate is certainly a complex system that is difficult to predict with any certainty, the unfolding catastrophe is a sad reminder of just how inadequate early warning systems can be.