• As Sea Levels Rise, Coastal Megacities Will Need More Than Flood Barriers

    Sea level rise is expected to worsen in the next few decades, especially for many of the world’s largest cities in lower and middle income countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These cities are already improving their infrastructure. But most of the focus remains on big engineering solutions (like flood walls and embankments) rather than a more holistic plans.

  • Social Media May Create Ambiguity during Acute Crises

    In an acute crisis, it can be difficult to know exactly what has happened and how to respond. Sometimes it’s not a lack of information that is the biggest problem, but that huge amounts of information on social media create ambiguity. During such times, it is particularly important to be critical of sources, as both the behavior of users and the structure of the platforms contribute to this lack of clarity.

  • Climate Change Contributor to 2017 Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

    A one-two punch of precipitation resulted in damage to Oroville Dam’s main and emergency spillways pushing the second largest dam in California into a crisis in February 2017. Researchers say that they have identified the fingerprint of climate change in the events that triggered the incident. Issues with the dam’s spillways led to the evacuation of 188,000 people.

  • Last-Minute Defense Against an Asteroid: Obliterating It Before Impact

    Scientists say that pulverizing a threatening incoming asteroid into tiny pieces is our best bet to protect ourselves from an asteroid on short notice.

  • An Asteroid Impact Could Wipe Out an Entire City – NASA’s Plans to Prevent a Potential Catastrophe

    The Earth exists in a dangerous environment. Cosmic bodies, like asteroids and comets, are constantly zooming through space and often crash into our planet. Most of these are too small to pose a threat, but some can be cause for concern. Are governments spending enough money to prevent an asteroid catastrophe?

  • Number of Wildfires to Rise by 50% by 2100 and Governments Are Not Prepared

    Even the Arctic, previously all but immune, faces rising wildfire risk, experts say. Wildfires and climate change are “mutually exacerbating.” Governments are called to radically shift their investments in wildfires to focus on prevention and preparedness.

  • Accelerated Impact of Climate Change on Human Wellbeing, Nature

    Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals. These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage. They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity.

  • Improving Bay Area Seismic Hazard Maps

    Using the Santa Cruz Mountains as a natural laboratory, researchers have built a 3D tectonic model that clarifies the link between earthquakes and mountain building along the San Andreas fault for the first time. The findings may be used to improve seismic hazard maps of the Bay Area.

  • Lake Evaporation Patterns Will Shift with Climate Change

    Lakes serve as a major global source of freshwater. As temperatures continue to get warmer, so will lakes. As global average temperatures rise, lake evaporation is projected to increase at double the rate of ocean evaporation. However, future increases in lake evaporation vary substantially across regions.

  • How a Two-century Megadrought Gap Set Up the West for Its Water and Climate Crisis

    Since the turn of the 21st century, researchers probing evidence locked in tree rings and other clues to past climate conditions have been building an increasingly unnerving picture of southwestern North America as prone to deep, prolonged droughts. Megadrought is the emerging term for the worst of these extreme dry spells — those lasting two decades or more.

  • Hotter, Drier Nights Mean More Runaway Fires

    Thanks to the warming climate, the potential for more severe nighttime wildfires is increasing, and warmer nights mean firefighters will not be able to rely on cooler temperatures to help them get a handle on fires, a new study shows.

  • What Drives Sea Level Rise? U.S. Report Warns of 1-Foot Rise within Three Decades and More Frequent Flooding

    Sea levels are rising, and that will bring profound flood risks to large parts of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts over the next three decades. A new report led by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that the U.S. should prepare for 10-12 inches of relative sea level rise on average in the next 30 years. That much sea level rise means cities like Miami that see nuisance flooding during high tides today will experience more damaging floods by midcentury.

  • U.S. Coastline to See Up to a Foot of Sea Level Rise by 2050

    The United States is expected to experience as much sea level rise by the year 2050 as it witnessed in the previous hundred years. That’s according to a NOAA-led report updating sea level rise decision-support information for the U.S. The report also finds that the sea level rise expected by 2050 will create a profound increase in the frequency of coastal flooding, even in the absence of storms or heavy rainfall.

  • Co-Occurring Droughts May Threaten Global Food Security

    Droughts occurring at the same time across different regions of the planet could place an unprecedented strain on the global agricultural system and threaten the water security of millions of people, according to a new study.

  • Ripple Effect: Lessons from the Tonga Eruption

    An eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the South Pacific Ocean on January 15, 2022 created a rare event never before detected with modern instruments. A powerful tsunami raced forward, leaving an untold number of lives hanging in the balance.