• FINANCIAL-SYSTEMS SECURITYEmerging Threats to the U.S. Financial System

    By Doug Irvin

    In early 2021, a freewheeling, freethinking group of investors on Reddit plowed their money into GameStop, a video game retailer that several big hedge funds had bet against. The stock price shot up, some people made millions—and, to the delight of those on Reddit, the hedge funds had some very bad days. Researchers saw the GameStop story as a cautionary tale. If investors on Reddit could work together to move the markets like that, what could an adversary like China do?

  • MANAGED RETREATThe Government Wants to Buy Their Flood-Prone Homes. But These Texans Aren’t Moving.

    By Emily Foxhall

    The recent floods in Harris County, Texas, show why home buyout programs can be important. These programs involve the government buying, and demolishing, houses in flood-prone zones, that is, areas which typically flood first and worse. The Harris County flood control district wants to buy properties along the San Jacinto River that have flooded repeatedly. Some residents aren’t leaving.

  • MANAGED RETREATTexas Flooding Brings New Urgency to Houston Home Buyout Program

    By Jake Bittle

    The San Jacinto River is a national hotspot for ‘managed retreat,’ but recent floods show how far local officials still have to go.

  • WILDFIRESDecayed Power Pole Sparked the Largest Wildfire in State History, Texas House Committee Confirms

    By Jayme Lozano Carver

    A decayed utility pole that broke, causing power wires to fall on dry grass in the Texas Panhandle, sparked the state’s largest wildfire in history. A lack of air support and ineffective coordination hurt efforts to contain this year’s Panhandle fires, the committee said.

  • GRID RESILIENCEResilient Power Systems in the Context of Climate Change

    As extreme weather events increase in frequency and society’s dependence on electricity grows, scientists are focusing on issues at the nexus of water and energy, recognizing that water and energy systems are strongly coupled and already stressed.

  • GRID SECURITYNew Cybersecurity Center to Protect Grids Integrated with Renewables, Microgrids

    Bringing renewable energy to the power grid raises all kinds of “internet-of-things” issues because “everything is connected,” says an expert. Solar inverters are connected to the internet. Wind farm controllers are connected to the internet. And with each internet connection, energy resources distributed across the countryside are potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks.

  • GRID SECURITYFirst Regional Cybersecurity Center to Protect the Nation’s Electricity Grid

    U.S. Department of Energy awards $10 million grant to develop innovative solutions to mitigating cyber threats across the U.S. A new center will bring together experts from the private sector, academia and government to share information and generate innovative real-world solutions to protect the nation’s power grid and other key sectors.

  • ENERGY SECURITYRivers Are the West’s Largest Source of Clean Energy. What Happens When Drought Strikes?

    By Syris Valentine

    With rivers across the West running low, utilities must get creative if they are to meet demand without increasing emissions.

  • CHINA WATCHChinese Government Poses 'Bold and Unrelenting' Threat to U.S. Critical Infrastructure: FBI

    FBI Director Christopher Wray on 18 April warned that risks the government of China poses to U.S. national and economic security are “upon us now”—and that U.S. critical infrastructure is a prime target. He said that partnerships, joint operations, and private sector vigilance can help us fight back.

  • COASTAL CHALLENGESSinking Land Increases Risk for Thousands of Coastal Residents

    By Travis Williams

    One in 50 people living in two dozen coastal cities in the United States could experience significant flooding by 2050, according to new research. The study projects that in the next three decades as many as 500,000 people could be affected as well as a potential 1 in 35 privately owned properties damaged by flooding.

  • FLOODSFEMA Is Making an Example of This Florida Boomtown. Locals call it “Revenge Politics.”

    By Jake Bittle

    When U.S. homeowners buy subsidized flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, they make a commitment to build back better after flood disasters, even if it costs them. The Biden administration is trying to punish Lee County for rebuilding flood-prone homes. The state’s Republican politicians are fighting back.

  • CLIMATE MIGRATIONThe Flooding Will Come “No Matter What”

    By Abrahm Lustgarten

    Another great American migration is now underway, this time forced by the warming that is altering how and where people can live. For now, it’s just a trickle. But in the corners of the country’s most vulnerable landscapes —on the shores of its sinking bayous and on the eroding bluffs of its coastal defenses —populations are already in disarray. The complex, contradictory, and heartbreaking process of American climate migration is underway.

  • AI & CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTUREArtificial Intelligence and Critical Infrastructure

    What is the technology availability for AI applications in critical infrastructure in the next ten years? What risks and scenarios (consisting of threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences) is AI likely to present for critical infrastructure applications in the next ten years?

  • EARTHQUAKESHow Prepared Is Taiwan for Earthquakes?

    Taiwan sits on a boundary of tectonic plates, and its long history of catastrophic quakes has forced the island to improve its building construction and design-related technologies. Newly constructed buildings in Taiwan have become “increasingly earthquake-resistant.”

  • EARTHQUAKESBalancing Act: Can Precariously Perched Boulders Signal New York’s Earthquake Risk?

    By Kevin Krajick

    The trouble with big earthquakes is that their subterranean root systems can lurk for centuries or millennia before building enough energy to explode. Among many places, this is true of the New York City area, where scientists believe big quakes are possible—but probably so rare, it is hard to say exactly how often they come, or how big they could be.