• Wildfires Are Much Worse Than a Sign of Climate Change

    Summer headlines have screamed of climate extremes: Record temperatures, an ocean heat wave, and rampant wildfires. The fires present a dual problem: Not only are they a symptom of climate change — becoming bigger, hotter, and more common in regions where they can affect large population centers — but they also make the crisis worse. By burning vast layers of partially decomposed vegetable matter called peat, fires like those in Canada release even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

  • Climate Change and U.S. Property Insurance: A Stormy Mix

    Accelerating risks and damage from climate change are spurring private insurers in the United States to limit coverage in a growing number of areas, thus imposing mounting stress on local communities and straining the country’s overall economic health.

  • Malicious AI Arrives on the Dark Web

    Nefarious non-state actors are already harnessing AI to scale up their malicious activities. Just as legitimate users have moved on from exploring ChatGPT to building similar tools, the same has happened in the shadowy world of cybercrime.

  • AI Cyber Challenge Aims to Secure Nation’s Most Critical Software

    In an increasingly interconnected world, software undergirds everything from financial systems to public utilities. As software enables modern life and drives productivity, it also creates an expanding attack surface for malicious actors. This surface includes critical infrastructure, which is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks given the lack of tools capable of securing systems at scale. New competition challenges the nation’s top AI and cybersecurity talent to automatically find and fix software vulnerabilities, defend critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

  • An Experiment to Fight Pandemic-Era Learning Loss Launches in Richmond

    After intense opposition and skepticism, two elementary schools opened 20 days early to help students make up for what they missed during the time of remote learning. The first question: Would kids show up in the middle of summer for extra schooling?

  • AI-Controlled Weapons Should Be Banned from the Battlefield: Experts

    AI expert says autonomous systems being used in the current Ukraine conflict need to be prohibited in the same way as chemical and biological weapons. “I’m quite hopeful that we will, at some point, decide that autonomous weapons also be added to the lists of terrible ways to fight war like chemical weapons, like biological weapons. What worries me is that in most cases, we’ve only regulated various technologies for fighting after we’ve seen the horrors of them being misused in battle,” he says.

  • New Tidal Energy Project for Carbon Emission Reduction and Energy Security

    New £7 million project aims to deliver scalable, affordable and sustainable tidal stream energy. Besides boosting energy security, this could help enable tidal stream energy make a meaningful contribution to achieving U.K. Net Zero goals.

  • Feds Ease Up on Colorado River Restrictions — for Now

    The water shortage crisis on the Colorado River is improving, but it’s far from over. The water levels in the river’s two main reservoirs have begun to stabilize, lessening the need for states in the Southwest to cut their water usage. This year’s wet winter helped save the river from collapse, but a reckoning is on the horizon.

  • Geoengineering Sounds Like a Quick Climate Fix, but Without More Research and Guardrails, It’s a Costly Gamble − with Potentially Harmful Results

    The underlying problem has been known for decades: Fossil-fuel vehicles and power plants, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices have been putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the Earth’s systems can naturally remove, and that’s heating up the planet. Geoengineering, theoretically, aims to restore that balance, either by removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or reflecting solar energy away from Earth. But changing Earth’s complex and interconnected climate system may have unintended consequences.

  • Training Students to Succeed in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

    Transformational changes are already underway in the manufacturing industry as technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart devices from the “fourth industrial revolution” or Industry 4.0., inspire a digital-first approach to engineering. University of Missouri researchers are using a $1 million grant to support the development of an Industry 4.0 lab, training engineering students for the future of digitization in manufacturing.

  • Using Hydrogen to Power Disaster Relief

    A new vehicle will not only get emergency responders safely to the site of an emergency, but also directly provide power at the scene for up to 72 hours as they assess next steps. And it does all this running on hydrogen—a much more sustainable solution for our environment.

  • NREL Analysis Reveals Benefits of Hydropower for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

    Closed-loop pumped storage hydropower systems rank as having the lowest potential to add to the problem of global warming for energy storage when accounting for the full impacts of materials and construction, according to new analysis. These systems rely on water flowing between two reservoirs to generate and store power.

  • More U.S. Crops to Require Irrigation

    With climate change, irrigating more crops in the United States will be critical to sustaining future yields, as drought conditions are likely to increase due to warmer temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns. Yet less than 20% of the nation’s croplands are equipped for irrigation.

  • As Competition with China Heats Up, Japan Turns to Africa for Critical Minerals

    Demand for such minerals is expected to grow sharply in the coming years. There are, however, supply constraints, as only a limited number of countries produce them. Tokyo has signed agreements with a number of African countries as competition with China for key raw materials and minerals heats up.

  • We Could Soon Be Getting Energy from Solar Power Harvested in Space

    The idea of space-based solar power (SBSP) – using satellites to collect energy from the sun and “beam” it to collection points on Earth – has been around since at least the late 1960s. Despite its huge potential, the concept has not gained sufficient traction due to cost and technological hurdles. space-based solar power is technologically feasible, but to be economically viable, it requires large-scale engineering, and therefore long-term and decisive commitment from governments and space agencies.