• 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.

  • Administration Commits $3.46 Billion to Reduce Effects of Climate Change

    Communities across the country have been impacted by the effects of hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and other events. The increasing duration, intensity, and severity of such disasters—which are exacerbated by climate change as well as changes in population, land use, and weather patterns—are alarming and devastating. New funds made available by the government for hazard mitigation.

  • 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.