• Loss of Fire Lookouts Spurs Questions About Historic Preservation

    For decades, fire lookout towers have served as a bridge between the human eye and the surrounding scenery. These former staples of American landscapes are now facing rapid extinction. Decades after their prime, fire lookout towers occupy a precarious position between use and extinction.

  • Extreme Rain Heads for California’s Burn Scars, Raising the Risk of Mudslides – This Is What Cascading Climate Disasters Look Like

    Wildfires strip away vegetation and leave the soil less able to absorb water. A downpour on these vulnerable landscapes can quickly erode the ground as fast-moving water carries debris and mud with it. Wildfires strip away vegetation and leave the soil less able to absorb water. A downpour on these vulnerable landscapes can quickly erode the ground as fast-moving water carries debris and mud with it. Such consecutive events lead to human disasters. Studies show climate change is raising the risk of multiple compound disasters.

  • Biden Administration Places Climate Change at the Center of U.S. Security Planning

    The administration on Thursday has released a series of reports addressing the increasingly severe impact of climate change on U.S. national security – an impact which is only going to grow in severity and scope. Taken together, the reports signal a new stage in U.S. policy, one which places climate change at the center of the U.S. security planning.

  • Rising Temperatures Reshaping, Exacerbating Global Security Landscape

    More than just altering the environment, climate change is threatening to permanently and dangerously reshape the global security landscape. These are the conclusions of a series of new assessments by U.S. military, intelligence, and security officials. “As climate change converges with other drivers — especially geostrategic competition, emerging technology and global-demographic trends — it is reshaping the risk landscape,” DHS said in its assessment. “The corrosive impact of these trends will make nations increasingly vulnerable to domestic instability, with sweeping implications for regional and border security and core national security interests.”.

  • Urbanites Face Heightened Flood Risk as a Result of Forest Loss

    The devastating impact of flooding in Queensland’s north, exacerbated by forest loss, is badly affecting urban areas. Researchers found that deforestation near urban areas exposes these areas to much larger amounts of water flowing on the soil surface soon after a rainfall.

  • Canals Can Help the U.K. Cope with the Climate Problems

    The presence of canal water can cool urban areas by up to 1.6°C during heatwaves in a 100-metre-wide corridor along the waterway. Research shows that the U.K.’s 200-year-old canals offer huge ‘blue’ opportunities to help Britain tackle the climate change crisis by helping cool homes and businesses, mitigating floods, and generating electricity through hydro generators.

  • Cities Worldwide Aren’t Adapting to Climate Change Quickly Enough

    Climate change is magnifying threats such as flooding, wildfires, tropical storms and drought. cities are quickly becoming more vulnerable to extreme weather events and permanent shifts in their climate zones. The problem is that the pace of climate change is accelerating much more rapidly than urban areas are taking steps to adapt to it.

  • Cost-Effective Disaster Preparedness

    With hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, the COVID-19 pandemic and more, the world has seen a multitude of disasters recently. Research on disaster preparedness aims to offer cost-effective solutions, reduce suffering.

  • Helping Keep Communities Safe from Chemical Hazards During Severe Weather

    The destruction wrought by extreme weather is often spectacular in its devastation, but the quiet threat of subsequent chemical release can be just as deadly. Damage to infrastructure can lead to toxic substances like chlorine or ammonia contaminating our air and water.

  • How Marsh Grass Protects Shorelines

    As climate change brings greater threats to coastal ecosystems, new research can help planners leverage the wave-damping benefits of marsh plants.

  • ShakeOut 2021: Earthquake Awareness Helps Community Preparedness

    Nearly half of Americans are exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes where they work and live. Still others will be at risk when traveling. It’s a good idea for everyone, everywhere to know how to protect themselves during an earthquake.

  • Fighting Floods with Restoration Versus Riprap

    While both natural and man-made systems have their limits, gray infrastructure—seawalls, jetties, levees—comes with high maintenance costs, can increase erosion, or may even unintentionally retain water. Incorporating green infrastructure—beaches, dunes, islands, wetlands—into flood protection plans alongside gray infrastructure can shield communities, reduce maintenance, and provide additional social and environmental benefits.

  • U.S. Hit with $18 Billion Weather and Climate Disasters So Far This Year

    The United States saw an unprecedented eighteen separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the first nine months of the year, September 2021 was the 5th-warmest September on record.

  • Seismic Forensics and Its Importance for Early Warning

    A February 2021 rockslide and the subsequent flood , in India’s Dhauli Ganga Valley, had killed at least a hundred people and destroyed two hydroelectric power plants. The analysis of this flood disaster in the Himalaya may help establish an early warning system for flash floods.

  • Urban Areas More Likely to Have Precipitation-Triggered Landslides

    Urban areas may be at greater risk for precipitation-triggered landslides than rural areas, according to a new study that could help improve landslide predictions and hazard and risk assessments. Researchers found that urban landslide hazard was up to 10 times more sensitive to variations in precipitation than in rural areas.