• Ultrafast Devices to Protecting the Grid from EMPs

    Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse.

  • As Sea Levels Rise, Coastal Megacities Will Need More Than Flood Barriers

    Sea level rise is expected to worsen in the next few decades, especially for many of the world’s largest cities in lower and middle income countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These cities are already improving their infrastructure. But most of the focus remains on big engineering solutions (like flood walls and embankments) rather than a more holistic plans.

  • Armored Transformer Barrier Protects Electric Power Grid

    A 2013 sniper attack on an electric power substation in Northern California, which caused more than $15 million in damages and destroyed 17 transformers, led researchers to develop a novel protective solution: the Armored Transformer Barrier system.

  • Climate Change Contributor to 2017 Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

    A one-two punch of precipitation resulted in damage to Oroville Dam’s main and emergency spillways pushing the second largest dam in California into a crisis in February 2017. Researchers say that they have identified the fingerprint of climate change in the events that triggered the incident. Issues with the dam’s spillways led to the evacuation of 188,000 people.

  • How Much Damage Could a Russian Cyberattack Do in the U.S.?

    U.S. intelligence analysts have determined that Moscow would consider a cyberattack against the U.S. as the Ukraine crisis grows. As a scholar of Russian cyber operations, I know the Kremlin has the capacity to damage critical U.S. infrastructure systems.

  • Wide Range of Possible Targets for Russian Cyberstrikes, from Infrastructure to Smartphones

    For years prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s government waged cyberwar aimed at destabilizing the country’s infrastructure, government, and financial systems, including several distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in the run-up to this week’s assault. What are Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and what would a cyberattack against the U.S. look like?

  • The U.S. Digital Security Challenges: Q&A with Frederic Lemieux

    The U.S. is facing many digital challenges: Ransomware attacks; critical infrastructure vulnerability; exploitation of flaws in widely used software packages such as SolarWinds; potential Russian cyberattacks resulting from the Ukraine crisis; shortage of cybersecurity talent which leaves many government and private sector positions vacant; and many more. HSNW talked with Georgetown’s Professor Frederic Lemieux, a recognized expert in the fields of global threats and homeland security.

  • Lake Evaporation Patterns Will Shift with Climate Change

    Lakes serve as a major global source of freshwater. As temperatures continue to get warmer, so will lakes. As global average temperatures rise, lake evaporation is projected to increase at double the rate of ocean evaporation. However, future increases in lake evaporation vary substantially across regions.

  • What Drives Sea Level Rise? U.S. Report Warns of 1-Foot Rise within Three Decades and More Frequent Flooding

    Sea levels are rising, and that will bring profound flood risks to large parts of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts over the next three decades. A new report led by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that the U.S. should prepare for 10-12 inches of relative sea level rise on average in the next 30 years. That much sea level rise means cities like Miami that see nuisance flooding during high tides today will experience more damaging floods by midcentury.

  • U.S. Coastline to See Up to a Foot of Sea Level Rise by 2050

    The United States is expected to experience as much sea level rise by the year 2050 as it witnessed in the previous hundred years. That’s according to a NOAA-led report updating sea level rise decision-support information for the U.S. The report also finds that the sea level rise expected by 2050 will create a profound increase in the frequency of coastal flooding, even in the absence of storms or heavy rainfall.

  • Identifying “Double-Hazard” Zones for Wildfire in the West

    Rapidly growing communities in the American West’s forests and shrublands are nestled in zones where local soil and plant traits amplify the effect of climate change on wildfire hazards and lead to bigger burns.

  • NSA Releases 2021 Cybersecurity Year in Review

    The NSA last week released its 2021 NSA Cybersecurity Year in Review which highlights how the agency continues to address threats to the U.S. most critical systems.

  • Cyberattacks on Belgian Energy Companies

    Oil facilities at Belgian ports have been hit with a cyberattack. The news comes a day after Germany launched an investigation into a similar incident.

  • When Water Is Coming from All Sides

    When hurricanes hit, it is not solely the storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean that led to flooding. Inland sources, like rain-swollen rivers, lakes and suburban culverts, also contributed significantly. Researchers have developed and tested the world’s first 3D operational storm surge model, which takes these factors, which were missed by many computer models at the time, into account.

  • Losing a Hectare of Wetlands Could Cost $8,000 Per Year in Flood Damages

    A new study finds that the loss of a hectare of wetlands — an area of land roughly the size of two football fields — costs society an average of $1,900 in flood damages per year. In developed areas, that figure jumps to more than $8,000.