• 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.

  • Can the Destructive Bootleg Fire Teach Us to Prevent Wildfires Before They Start?

    More and more, people are moving to less populous, woodland regions of the country, a phenomenon that puts more people in the path of potential wildfires and requires critical utilities such as power and water to be transported long distances from their origins. This creates a system of infrastructure that’s vulnerable to major disruptions—which is exactly what happened in the Bootleg fire.

  • Climate Change’s Role in Germany’s Deadly Floods

    Massive flooding has caused devastation across parts of central Europe. In Germany, more than 125 have been confirmed dead, with hundreds still missing and thousands driven from their homes. Scientists say that climate change had a role in it.

  • Climate Change to Bring More Intense Storms Across Europe

    Climate change is driving a large increase in intense, slow-moving storms, a new study finds. It is these slow-moving storms that have the potential for very high precipitation accumulations, with devastating impacts, as we saw in Germany and Belgium.

  • Mapping How Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Strategies Impact Economies, Floodwaters

    Sea levels are expected to rise by almost seven feet in the Bay Area by 2100. New research shows how traditional approaches to combating sea-level rise can create a domino effect of environmental and economic impacts for nearby communities.

  • Causes of Extremism Spike in U.S. Military Examined in New Study

    A new study from the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found a sharp increase in the number of former members of the U.S. military who are linked to extremist groups and activities. Michael Jensen, a co-author of the study, said that the problem of extremism is primarily a problem among veterans, not a problem in the ranks of those who are currently serving.

  • Smartphone Network Offers Inexpensive Earthquake Early Warning

    A new study demonstrates how Earthquake Early Warning using smartphone technology can be both inexpensive and effective for millions of people. 

  • Infrastructure for a Changing Climate

    As the U.S. debates whether and how to invest in its infrastructure, a lot is at stake, said Mariette diChristina, dean of the College of Communication at Boston University. “Infrastructure is built to last for decades — sometimes even a hundred years or more — so what we decide to do today will have a large effect on how things go tomorrow, including how we adapt to or mitigate climate change in the future.”

  • Delivering Aid to Disaster Scenes with Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Vehicles

    DHS S&T, along with other government agencies, is working on the design and creation of the “H2Rescue” emergency vehicle. The H2Rescue is an innovative new truck that can be a lifeline to responders and community members during times of chaos and uncertainty because the H2Rescue is fully powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

  • Machine Learning Helps in Earthquake Risk Prediction

    When that solid ground turns to liquid — as sometimes happens during earthquakes — it can topple buildings and bridges. The phenomenon is known as liquefaction, and it was a major feature of the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. New framework applies big data, supercomputing to soil liquefaction.

  • Wildfires Threaten California’s Power Grid

    Wildfires blazed through California, Arizona, and Oregon, driven by winds and a lack of humidity.. Death Valley in California’s Mohave Desert hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit. Utility officials in Oregon were keeping a weary eye on the Bootleg Fire which is raging out of control in southern Oregon and threatening Path 66 — a vital electric line corridor linking California with the Oregon power grid. The blaze in Oregon threatens the power lines which carry power to California.

  • Most Buildings Were Designed for an Earlier Climate – Here’s What Will Happen as Global Warming Accelerates

    Architects and engineers design buildings and other structures, like bridges, to operate within the parameters of the local climate. The structures are built using materials and following design standards which can withstand the range of temperatures, rainfall, snow, and wind which are expected, plus any geological issues such as earthquakes, subsidence, and ground water levels. When any of these parameters are exceeded, chances are some aspects of the structure will fail.

  • Creating More Resilient Supply Chains Through Nature-Inspired Design

    Supply chains work a lot like food webs in natural ecosystems, in which biodiversity allows for adaptation during disruptions. The analogy turned out to be relevant particularly in looking at “black swan” events, which are unpredictable and hard to protect against—and for which adaptation, not prevention, is the main defense.

  • Detecting Floods from Space Using Artificial Intelligence

    Observing the Earth from space provides valuable information for flood-related decision-making on the ground.