• Are We Running Out of Water? Water Security Threatened by Droughts and Heatwaves Worldwide

    Increased demand for water due to global population growth, coupled with the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, endangers our water security. Nonetheless, little is known about the relationship of water use by sectors and the occurrence of drought-heatwave events, particularly at the large scale.

  • Hurricanes Arriving Earlier Due to Climate Change

    Intense tropical cyclones are one of the most devastating natural disasters in the world due to torrential rains, flooding, destructive winds, and coastal storm surges. New research revealed that since the 1980s, Category 4 and 5 hurricanes (maximum wind speed greater than 131 miles per hour) have been arriving three to four days earlier with each passing decade of climate change.

  • AI-Driven Earthquake Forecasting Shows Promise in Trials

    A new attempt to predict earthquakes with the aid of artificial intelligence has raised hopes that the technology could one day be used to limit earthquakes’ impact on lives and economies. Researchers used AI algorithm to correctly predict 70% of earthquakes a week before they happened during a seven-month trial in China.

  • Mobile Positioning-Based Population Statistics Make Crisis Management More Effective

    Human and economic losses inflicted by disasters are still growing in the world in spite of technological advances. A recent case study from Estonia shows that mobile positioning data can play a key role in improving the availability of emergency assistance, reducing the risk to human life and health in crisis situations.

  • Climate Intervention Technologies May Create Winners and Losers in World Food Supply

    A technology being studied to curb climate change – one that could be put in place in one or two decades if work on the technology began now – would affect food productivity in parts of planet Earth in dramatically different ways, benefiting some areas, and adversely affecting others.

  • Simultaneous large wildfires will increase in Western U.S.

    Simultaneous outbreaks of large wildfires will become more frequent in the Western United States this century as the climate warms, putting major strains on efforts to fight fires. This trend threatens to stretch firefighting resources.

  • Employing Deep Learning to Explain Extreme Events

    Identifying the underlying cause of extreme events such as floods, heavy downpours or tornados is immensely difficult and can take a concerted effort by scientists over several decades to arrive at feasible physical explanations. Computer-vision deep learning may help in identifying these underlying causes.

  • New Tool Helps Communities Plan for and Mitigate Disasters

    When hurricanes make landfall, coastal communities are especially vulnerable to storm surges, high winds, and freshwater flooding. Residents can be left without clean water, food, shelter, electricity, and access to medical care for days.  Communities need proper tools to adequately prepare for these storms, especially as climate change worsens the impact of these extreme weather events. The Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard (PIRS), recently launched by S&T’s Coastal Resilience Center, helps local governments plan for hurricane season—and beyond.

  • What Fuels Wildfires in Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Wildfires in California, exacerbated by human-driven climate change, are getting more severe. To better manage them, there’s a growing need to know exactly what fuels the blazes after they ignite. One of the chief fuels of wildfires in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is the decades-old remains of large trees.

  • First-of-Its Kind Dataset Shows Future Flooding Risk at Neighborhood Level

    Climate change fueled extreme weather events, like flooding, are happening more frequently. ANL researchers and partners have developed a new methodology for estimating increased flood risk from climate change.

  • Largest Fire Death Toll Belongs to Aftermath of 1923 Japan Earthquake

    Fires that raged in the days following the 1 September 1923 magnitude 7.9 Kantō earthquake killed roughly 90% of the 105,000 people who perished in and around Tokyo, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in history—comparable to the number of people killed in the World War II atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

  • Climate Risks Place 39 Million U.S. Homes at Risk of Losing Their Insurance

    From California to Florida, homeowners have been facing a new climate reality: Insurance companies don’t want to cover their properties. According to a report released today, the problem will only get worse. “Sound pricing is going to make it unaffordable to live in certain places as climate impacts emerge,” says one expert.

  • Deadly Dam Failures: Cause, Effect, and Prevention

    No dam is flood-proof. Thousands are at alert level. But dam failure needn’t be deadly the way it was in Libya’s devastating floods. Here’s what you need to know.

  • New Flood Prediction Model Has Potentially Life-Saving Benefits

    A new simulation model that can predict flooding during an ongoing disaster more quickly and accurately than currently possible. The new model has major potential benefits for emergency responses, reducing flood forecasting time from hours and days to just seconds, and enabling flood behavior to be accurately predicted quickly as an emergency unfolds.

  • Coordinating Australia’s Response to Natural Disasters and National Crises

    Australia’s comprehensive national crisis coordination process — the National Coordination Mechanism, or NCM — works well, and its continued use—and evolution—points the way to even more comprehensively coordinated resilience building, crisis planning, response and recovery. Extrapolation of the NCM will prove critical if national mobilization is required to deal with crises other than natural disasters and pandemics.