• Avoiding Water Bankruptcy in the Drought-Troubled Southwest: What the U.S. and Iran Can Learn from Each Other

    In August, the U.S. government issued its first ever water shortage declaration for the Colorado River, triggering water use restrictions. The fundamental problem is the unchecked growth of water consumption. The Southwest is in an “anthropogenic drought” created by the combination of natural water variability, climate change and human activities that continuously widen the water supply-demand gap.

  • Changing Climate Increases Need for Water Diplomacy

    The dispute between Ethiopia and its neighbors over the massive Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile is but one example of how the climate change-driven growing scarcity of water may soon lead countries to engage in what, a decade ago, British intelligence called “water wars.” These growing tensions need to be tackled in new ways.

  • Blocking the Sun to Control Global Warming

    It sounds like something out of a bad science fiction movie — artificially blocking sunlight to keep global warming from overheating the Earth. Nevertheless, a small cadre of researchers is studying the option — so that if humankind ever needs to use it, it will be an informed decision.

  • Science’s Answers to Flood Disaster

    On 14 July 2021, between 60 and 180 mm of rain fell in the Eifel region in just 22 hours - an amount that would otherwise have fallen in several months and which led to catastrophic flooding. The events were far more destructive than existing models had predicted.

  • Studying Road Resilience to Sea Level Rise

    After a summer of high heat, steady sea level rise and devastating hurricanes, coastal roads have continued to take a severe beating resulting in endless wear and tear. Because these roadways have become increasingly vulnerable, study how and why coastal hazards like excessive flooding are causing roads to crack and crumble and find ways to protect them.

  • Helping Communities Avoid the Climate Crosshairs

    Scientists are addressing the vulnerabilities of infrastructure systems through the lens of climate impacts by creating and adapting climate maps to infrastructure as a way for communities to protect themselves from the effects of climate change.

  • Can Hydropower Survive in a Future of Extreme Weather?

    Hydropower has long been seen as a reliable renewable energy source. But during drought and heavy rain, hydropower plants often come to a standstill. Will climate change spell the end for this clean energy alternative?

  • Calif.’s Central Valley: Increased Pumping During Drought in Worsens Groundwater Quality

    Researchers, examining thirty years of data from California’s Central Valley, found that intensive pumping of aquifers during drought can speed up deterioration of groundwater quality.

  • Iran-Afghanistan Water Dispute: A Test of Tehran's Ties to Taliban

    An old dispute over water rights could be the first test of Iran’s planned pragmatic cooperation with the Taliban. Without a functioning environmental agency, though, it is unclear who in Afghanistan can address the conflict.

  • Summer 2021: Neck and Neck with Dust Bowl Summer for Hottest on Record

    The average temperature during meteorological summer for the contiguous U.S. was 74.0 degrees F, 2.6 degrees above average. This technically exceeds the record heat of the 1936 Dust Bowl Summer. In August, the U.S. was plagued by multiple deadly weather and climate disasters.

  • A Preview of What’s to Come: Climate Change Helped Intensify Hurricane Ida

    Hurricane Ida started as a disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean quickly grew to what could be the worst hurricane to hit Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While scientists are uncertain whether climate change will increase the frequency of hurricanes, one thing is clear: Climate change is here, and it’s making these storms stronger and more destructive.

  • Disasters Around the World Are Linked by the Same Root Causes

    Climate catastrophes, pandemics, and other crises ultimately stem from the same root causes, says an expert. These have more in common than people realize or plan for.

  • Hurricane Ida Shows the Increasing Impact of Climate Change Since Katrina

    While no two disasters are the same, looking at differences between past and present disasters can help us to better understand what is needed to prepare for future disasters. Given the scope of the emerging impacts of Hurricane Ida, we see that while this is not a repeat of a Katrina disaster, questions are being raised about the effect of climate change and the resiliency of lifeline infrastructure like electricity.

  • Future Flooding in Venice: Facing Sea Level Rise

    A new assessment of flood risk in Venice indicates that the impact of higher emissions on relative sea level rise during this century will be critical in planning future defense infrastructure for Venice and other coastal cities.

  • More Weather-Related Disasters Over Past 50 Years, Causing More Damage but Fewer Deaths

    A disaster related to a weather, climate, or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years – killing 115 people and causing $ 202 million in losses daily. But while the number of climate change-driven disasters has increased by a factor of five over the 50-year period, the number of deaths decreased almost three-fold. thanks to improved early warnings and disaster management.