• Hydropower Faces the Future Challenge 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?

  • Improving Flood Projections

    Climate change will lead to more and stronger floods, mainly due to the increase of more intense heavy rainfall. In order to assess how exactly flood risks and the severity of floods will change over time, it is particularly helpful to consider two different types of such extreme precipitation events.

  • 2020 Was Among Three Warmest Years on Record

    A new State of the Climate report confirmed that 2020 was among the three warmest years in records dating to the mid-1800s, even with a cooling La Niña influence in the second half of the year. The major indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet. Several markers such as sea level, ocean heat content, and permafrost once again broke records set just one year prior.

  • What Caused Heavy Rainfall Which Led to Western Europe’s Severe Flooding

    Mid-July flooding resulted in at least 184 fatalities in Germany and 38 in Belgium and considerable damage to infrastructure, including houses, motorways and railway lines and bridges and key income sources. Road closures left some places inaccessible for days, cutting off some villages from evacuation routes and emergency response. What was the cause of these devastating floods?

  • The Impact of Extreme Waves on Offshore Structures

    Strong storms can trigger steep, breaking waves that slam into platforms and wind turbines with tremendous force. Scientists are studying the behavior of offshore structures subjected to these kinds of waves. Their goal is to increase safety at sea.

  • New Ways to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture

    Scientists agree climate change has a profound impact on U.S. agricultural production, but estimates vary, making it hard to develop mitigation strategies. Two agricultural economists take a closer look at how choice of statistical methodology influences climate study results. They also propose a more accurate and place-specific approach to data analysis.

  • Investments in Nature Needed to Stop the Next Pandemic: Experts

    A group of leading scientific experts from the U.S., Latin America, Africa and South Asia released a report outlining the strong scientific foundations for taking actions to stop the next pandemic by preventing the spillover of pathogens from animals to people. Among other findings, the report notes that protecting forests and changing agricultural practices are essential, cost-effective actions to prevent pandemics.

  • Tracking Water Storage: Improving Water Management During Floods, Droughts

    Researchers have created a balance sheet for water across the United States – tracking total water storage in 14 of the country’s major aquifers over 15 years. With longer-term droughts and intermittent intense flooding expected in the future, particularly in the arid western U.S., there is rising concern about overtaxing water resources in the region, especially for irrigated agriculture.

  • Artificial Intelligence Helps Unlock Extreme Weather Mysteries

    A new machine learning approach helps scientists understand why extreme precipitation days in the Midwest are becoming more frequent. It could also help scientists better predict how these and other extreme weather events will change in the future.

  • Urban Development and Greenhouses Gasses Will Fuel Urban Floods

    When rain began falling in northern Georgia on September 15, 2009, little did Atlantans know that they would witness epic flooding throughout the city. Researchers are asking whether a combination of urban development and climate change fueled by greenhouse gasses could bring about comparable scenarios in other U.S. cities. Based on a new study, the answer is yes.

  • How Do Floods Become a Disaster?

    Since the 1990s, the number of fatalities from river floods has declined worldwide, but the amount of damage has risen sharply. Researchers attribute the decline in casualties to improved flood warning, technical protection measures and heightened hazard awareness.

  • It’s Official: July Was Earth’s Hottest Month on Record

    New global data show that July was the world’s hottest month ever recorded. The combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago.

  • Flood Risks in Germany Were Clearly Underestimated

    Expert say that to better estimate flood risks, risk maps should also consider historical data. The floods which devastated Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia caused 15 confirmed deaths, with more than two dozen people still unaccounted for. The damage is estimated at more than EUR 10 billion.

  • Middle-Class Residents Prefer to Stay Put after Floodwaters Recede

    Flood disasters lead some people to move far from the places they had called home. A new study finds that middle-class people who made long-term plans to stay in their neighborhoods before they flooded are less likely to relocate even if they suffered significant damage.

  • Global Warming Increased U.S. Crop Insurance Losses by $27 Billion in 27 Years

    Higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by $27 billion between 1991 and 2017, according to new estimates from Stanford researchers. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other severe weather events.