• Europe’s Energy Choice

    Russia’s war in Ukraine and the disruption of Russian gas exports to Europe has triggered an energy crunch, with price spikes unlike anything seen since 1973. And the situation will get worse before it gets better. Responding to the immediate energy crisis in the right way will help to address the broader climate challenge. Authorities must both buffer the shock of the gas crunch in the short term, and accelerate the transition to clean energy in the long -term.

  • New Flood Maps Clarify the Risk Homeowners Face

    Flooding in urban areas cost Americans more than $106 billion between 1960 and 2016, damaging property, disrupting businesses and claiming lives in the process. Determining which areas are most likely to flood amid ever-changing land use and shifting rainfall and climate patterns can be expensive and complicated. New maps more realistically depict flood zones with less effort, lower costs.

  • U.S. Launches Heat.gov with Tools for Communities Facing Extreme Heat

    The administration launched Heat.gov, a new website to provide the public and decision-makers with clear, timely and science-based information to understand and reduce the health risks of extreme heat. Heat.gov will provide a one-stop hub on heat and health for the nation and is a priority of President Biden’s National Climate Task Force and its Interagency Working Group on Extreme Heat.

  • Extreme Heat Causes Record Wildfires, Acres Burned

    In 2022, 38,046 wildfires have burned 5,571,855 acres. This is the most acres burned-to-date in the past 10 years. Both numbers are well above the 10-year average of 32,286 wildfires and 3,328,244 acres burned. Temperatures will rise to 10- 15oF above normal across the Pacific Northwest and 5-10oF above normal in northern California and portions of the Great Basin.

  • Amid Climate Change and Conflict, More Resilient Food Systems a Must: Report

    Increased demand for water will be the No. 1 threat to food security in the next 20 years, followed closely by heat waves, droughts, income inequality and political instability.

  • Why UK Railways Can’t Deal with Heatwaves – and What Might Help

    Like most construction materials, steel, which rails are made from, expands when air temperature increases. When this movement is restrained by the anchorage, which holds the rail and the sleeper (the rectangular supports for the rails) in place, internal stresses build up, and compression buckles or kinks the rail. Trains cannot travel over rail lines with kinks. In the US, kinks caused by the sun caused over 2,100 train derailments in the past 40 years, equivalent to around 50 derailments per year.

  • Climate Change, Land-Use Changes Increase Likelihood of Flood Events

    The German government estimates the total losses resulting from the disastrous floods in July 2021 at 32 billion euros. To improve future preparedness for such extreme events, researchers advise that risk assessments take greater account of the landscape and river courses, how they change, and how sediments are transported. In addition, projections show an increase in the spatial extent and frequency of such extreme events, as well as higher amounts of precipitation.

  • How Not to Solve the Climate Change Problem

    When politicians talk about reaching “net zero” emissions, they’re often counting on trees or technology that can pull carbon dioxide out of the air. What they don’t mention is just how much these proposals or geoengineering would cost to allow the world to continue burning fossil fuels. I’ve been working on climate change for over four decades. Let’s take a minute to come to grips with some of the rhetoric around climate change and clear the air, so to speak.

  • Europe Heat Wave: U.K. Records Hottest-Ever Temperature

    Western Europe continues to bake in extreme heat, with the UK recording a temperature over 40 degrees Celsius for the first time, and wildfires burning through French forests. Relief is expected later in the week.

  • Britain Isn’t Built to Withstand 40°C – Here Is Where Infrastructure Is Most Likely to Fail

    Climate change is intensifying heatwaves in the UK, an affluent country with the capacity and resources to adapt to warmer temperatures. Still, very little has been done over the past ten years to address overheating in buildings and the rising risk to critical infrastructure. The country is unprepared to handle temperatures of more than 38°C consistently for long periods, which is more common in Mediterranean countries.

  • Water Resources to Become Less Predictable with Climate Change

    Many regions of Earth rely on the accumulation of snow during the winter and subsequent melting in the spring and summer for regulating runoff and streamflow. Water resources will fluctuate increasingly and become more and more difficult to predict in snow-dominated regions across the Northern Hemisphere.

  • U.S. Dominated by Remarkable Heat, Dryness

    June kicked off a very warm and dry start to meteorological summer for the U.S. The U.S. struck with 9 separate billion-dollar disasters so far this year. The average June temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 70.7 degrees F — 2.2 degrees above average.

  • Protecting the Coastline

    Barrier islands protect the coastline from storms, storm surge, waves and flooding. They can act as a buffer between the ocean and beachfront property. But as sea level rises, barrier islands retreat, or move closer toward the shore, which diminishes the buffer and protection. Oceanographers develop new model to better predict barrier island retreat.

  • Climate Models May Underestimate Future Floods

    Climate models may be significantly underestimating how extreme precipitation will become in response to a rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, a new study finds. It all comes down to raindrop physics, says one researcher: Even a slight change in the percentage of each falling raindrop to reach the Earth’s surface can mean the difference between a climate of light drizzles and one that creates unprecedented deluges.

  • To Reach the Public, Highlight the Health Implications of Climate Change: Expert

    Among the health effects of climate change: Increases in extreme heat can lead to more heat-related illness and death from heat stroke and dehydration. Poor air quality can cause more lung infections, asthma and allergy attacks, bronchitis, and deaths. Rising temperatures can also increase the geographic range of disease-carrying insects and animals, resulting in faster and wider spread of diseases like Zika virus. Rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions make it easier for food and water to become contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other toxins.