• Redefining the Longest Drought

    Maps of the American West have featured ever darker shades of red over the past two decades. In some areas, conditions have blown past severe and extreme drought into exceptional drought. But rather than add more superlatives to the descriptions, one group of scientists believes it’s time to reconsider the very definition of drought.

  • Food Security During a Nuclear Winter

    A nuclear war would cause global blockage of the sun for several years due to injections of black carbon soot into the upper atmosphere, covering most of the planet with black clouds. This could result in less than 40 percent of normal light levels near the equator and less than 5 percent normal light levels near the poles. Research focuses on how meeting food security and nutrition in post-catastrophe conditions, which could last 15 years in some wet tropical forests.

  • Coastal Home Buyers Are Ignoring Rising Flood Risks, Despite Clear Warnings and Rising Insurance Premiums

    Homebuyers along the U.S. coasts can check each property’s flood risk as easily as they check the size of the bedrooms – most coastal real estate listings now include future flood risk details that take climate change into account. In Apollo Beach, for example, many of the properties are at least 9 out of 10 on the flood risk scale. That knowledge isn’t stopping homebuyers, though.

  • Onset of Modern Sea-Level Rise Began in 1863, International Study Finds

    Researchers have found that modern rates of sea-level rise began emerging in 1863 as the Industrial Age intensified, coinciding with evidence for early ocean warming and glacier melt.

  • Groundwater Levels Fall Across Western and Central Kansas

    Average groundwater levels across western and central Kansas fell by more than a foot in 2021, with the greatest declines in the southwest portion of the state. “The entire state is currently in some stage of drought and even with recent snowfalls, I bet it remains that way,” one expert said.

  • Tornadoes, Climate Change Make Dixie the new Tornado Alley

    Studies do show tornadoes getting more frequent, more intense and more likely to come in swarms. Moreover, studies show that, statistically, there is an emergence of another center of tornado activity in the Southeast, centered around Alabama. Oklahoma still has tornadoes, of course. But the statistical center of Tornado Alley has moved eastward.

  • Wildfires Devastate the Land They Burn, and They Are Also Warming the Planet

    The 2021 wildfire season broke records globally, leaving land charred from California to Siberia. The risk of fire is growing, and a recent report warned that wildfires are on track to increase 50% by 2050. These fires destroy homes, plant life, and animals as they burn, but the risk doesn’t stop there. Researchers detail how the brown carbon released by burning biomass in the northern hemisphere is accelerating warming in the Arctic and warn that this could lead to even more wildfires in the future.

  • How a Hurricane Fueled Wildfires in the Florida Panhandle

    The wildfires that broke out in the Florida Panhandle in early March 2022 were the nightmare fire managers had feared since the day Hurricane Michael flattened millions of trees there in 2018. It might sound odd – hurricanes helping to fuel wildfires. But Michael’s 160 mph winds left tangles of dead trees that were ready to burn.

  • Texas Cold Snap Highlights Need for Improved Power Systems

    The greatest demand for electricity in Texas is traditionally during the hottest days of the year, when air conditioners turn on full blast to beat the heat. But in February 2021, an unusually long spell of cold weather took the region by surprise. With extreme weather events rising in frequency, the need for a prepared modern energy grid grows.

  • CO2 Could Be Stored Below Ocean Floor

    Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. To combat its potentially catastrophic effects, scientists are searching for new technologies that could help the world reach carbon neutrality. One potential solution that is drawing growing attention is to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the form of hydrates under ocean floor sediments.

  • Climate Change Contributor to 2017 Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

    A one-two punch of precipitation resulted in damage to Oroville Dam’s main and emergency spillways pushing the second largest dam in California into a crisis in February 2017. Researchers say that they have identified the fingerprint of climate change in the events that triggered the incident. Issues with the dam’s spillways led to the evacuation of 188,000 people.

  • Number of Wildfires to Rise by 50% by 2100 and Governments Are Not Prepared

    Even the Arctic, previously all but immune, faces rising wildfire risk, experts say. Wildfires and climate change are “mutually exacerbating.” Governments are called to radically shift their investments in wildfires to focus on prevention and preparedness.

  • Accelerated Impact of Climate Change on Human Wellbeing, Nature

    Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals. These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage. They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity.

  • Lake Evaporation Patterns Will Shift with Climate Change

    Lakes serve as a major global source of freshwater. As temperatures continue to get warmer, so will lakes. As global average temperatures rise, lake evaporation is projected to increase at double the rate of ocean evaporation. However, future increases in lake evaporation vary substantially across regions.

  • How a Two-century Megadrought Gap Set Up the West for Its Water and Climate Crisis

    Since the turn of the 21st century, researchers probing evidence locked in tree rings and other clues to past climate conditions have been building an increasingly unnerving picture of southwestern North America as prone to deep, prolonged droughts. Megadrought is the emerging term for the worst of these extreme dry spells — those lasting two decades or more.