• A Tropical Storm in California? Warmer Waters and El Niño Made It Possible.

    Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall in Mexico and crossed into California last weekend, knocking out power and drenching wide swaths of southern California. Los Angeles received 2.48 inches of rain on Sunday, breaking a single-day record from 1906 of 0.03 inches. Storm Hilary adds to the lengthy list of climate-fueled disasters this summer.

  • Sediment Movement During Hurricane Harvey Could Negatively Impact Future Flooding

    Enormous amounts of sediment, or sand and mud, flowed through Houston waterways during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, due in part to modifications made by humans to bayous, rivers and streams over the past century. Harvey was the largest rainfall event in U.S. history, and it moved 27 million cubic meters of sediment, or 16 Astrodomes, through Houston waterways and reservoirs. This could seriously impact future flooding events and be costly to the City of Houston.

  • Scientists Are Helping Cities Adapt to Extreme Heat

    Extreme heat is dangerous and is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths, and in a warming world, extreme heat is becoming the norm, not the exception. Scientists are working to mitigate the effects of extreme heat by developing strategies to build heat resilience which would allow communities to adapt to and thrive in a warming climate.

  • Climate Change and U.S. Property Insurance: A Stormy Mix

    Accelerating risks and damage from climate change are spurring private insurers in the United States to limit coverage in a growing number of areas, thus imposing mounting stress on local communities and straining the country’s overall economic health.

  • AI Cyber Challenge Aims to Secure Nation’s Most Critical Software

    In an increasingly interconnected world, software undergirds everything from financial systems to public utilities. As software enables modern life and drives productivity, it also creates an expanding attack surface for malicious actors. This surface includes critical infrastructure, which is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks given the lack of tools capable of securing systems at scale. New competition challenges the nation’s top AI and cybersecurity talent to automatically find and fix software vulnerabilities, defend critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

  • Climate-Fueled Wildfires Lead to Rethink on Fire Tactics

    Climate change is making wildfires more frequent and more destructive, and long-time firefighting strategies are no longer working. Scientists are calling for a radical rethink of how we fight wildfires.

  • Training Students to Succeed in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

    Transformational changes are already underway in the manufacturing industry as technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart devices from the “fourth industrial revolution” or Industry 4.0., inspire a digital-first approach to engineering. University of Missouri researchers are using a $1 million grant to support the development of an Industry 4.0 lab, training engineering students for the future of digitization in manufacturing.

  • How the Caribbean Is Building Climate Resilience

    Small island nations in the Caribbean are among the countries in the world most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and stronger and more frequent storms. Governments in the region are taking steps to combat it, but climate finance remains a challenge as Caribbean nations struggle with heavy debt burdens, despite receiving some regional and international support. 

  • FEMA Maps Said They Weren’t in a Flood Zone. Then Came the Rain.

    The most common reference for flood risk are the flood insurance rate maps, also known as 100-year floodplain maps, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, produces. They designate so-called special flood hazard areas that have a roughly 1 percent chance of inundation in any given year. Properties within those zones are subject to more stringent building codes and regulations that, among other things, require anyone with a government-backed mortgage to carry flood insurance. Flaws in federal flood maps leave millions unprepared. Some are trying to fix that.

  • Major Update to NIST’s Widely Used Cybersecurity Framework

    The world’s leading cybersecurity guidance is getting its first complete makeover since its release nearly a decade ago. NIST has revised the framework to help benefit all sectors, not just critical infrastructure.

  • DHS: Additional $374.9 Million in Funding to Boost State, Local Cybersecurity

    State and local governments face increasingly sophisticated cyber threats to their critical infrastructure and public safety. On Monday, DHS announced the availability of $374.9 million in grant funding for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP).

  • Beaver-Like Dams Can Enhance Existing Flood Management Strategies for At-risk Communities

    River barriers made up of natural materials like trees, branches, logs and leaves can reduce flooding in at-risk communities. Leaky barriers are effective in slowing down the flow of the river during periods of rainfall and storing up vast quantities of water which would otherwise rush through causing damage to communities downstream.

  • Reached: Milestone in Power Grid Optimization on World’s First Exascale Supercomputer

    Ensuring the nation’s electrical power grid can function with limited disruptions in the event of a natural disaster, catastrophic weather or a manmade attack is a key national security challenge. Compounding the challenge of grid management is the increasing amount of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind that are continually added to the grid, and the fact that solar panels and other means of distributed power generation are hidden to grid operators.

  • Aging Bridge Detection Through Digital Image Correlation

    Researchers have developed a novel and practical method of assessing the mechanical properties of structures, with potential application to structural health monitoring of large structures such as bridges and viaducts.

  • “Hacking” People, Not Systems: False Claims Attacks on Infrastructure

    False claims and disinformation, especially in a social media-driven society, have become major problems with potentially severe consequences. Disinformation can be weaponized to disrupt underlying cyber-physical systems, human lives and economic productivity. Recent examples include tweets that trigger spikes in gasoline prices and false social media posts reporting impending water pumping station shutdowns. In these scenarios, chaos is caused because people, not systems or devices, are “hacked.”