• Germany needs to invest in nature to defend against floods

    Wednesday, 2 February, is the first international World Wetlands Day. It should prompt action to restore these vital ecosystems to protect communities, biodiversity, and prevent future disasters

  • Functionally Graded Material Resistant to Blasts, Fire in buildings

    When a bomb goes off or fire breaks out, a building constructed or retrofitted with an engineered composite currently confined to special applications could buy the surviving occupants extra time to get out. Functionally graded material (FGM), a recently developed composite characterized by the gradual variation of material properties across its thickness, is an effective bomb-resistant material in structural uses.

  • Assessing Bridge Support Repairs After Earthquakes

    Steel-reinforced concrete columns that support many of the world’s bridges are designed to withstand earthquakes, but always require inspection and often repair once the shaking is over. Engineers simulate restoration strategies for reinforced concrete columns.

  • $3.5 Million NSF Grant to Fund Cybersecurity Scholarships

    A $3.5 million grant will fund new scholarships at Binghamton University over the next five years for two dozen students who plan to join the workforce as cybersecurity professionals. The NSF’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program trains the next generation of information technology experts and security managers.

  • Russia Could Unleash Disruptive Cyberattacks Against the U.S. – but Efforts to Sow Confusion and Division Are More Likely

    As tensions mount between Russia and the West over Ukraine, the threat of Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. increases. Cybersecurity experts are concerned that in the wake of recent cyberattacks by hackers affiliated with Russia, the Russian government has the capability to carry out disruptive and destructive attacks against targets in the U.S. the Russian government is likely to think twice before unleashing highly disruptive attacks against the U.S., because the U.S. government could interpret such attacks, particularly those targeting critical infrastructure, as acts of war.

  • Expanding America’s Marine Highways 

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $12.6 million in grants to nine marine highway projects across the United States, saying the  under the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP). DOT says that the funding will help address supply chain disruptions, enhance the movement of goods along the U.S. navigable waterways, and expand existing waterborne freight services.

  • Enhancing Earthquake Resilience by Updating Steel Building Standard

    Since the mid-1990s, a type of steel column that commonly features slender cross-sectional elements has become more prevalent in buildings along the West Coast of the United States and in other seismically active regions. Although these columns have complied with modern design standards, expert say that our understanding of how they would perform during an earthquake has been limited by a lack of full-scale testing.

  • Cities Boosted Rain, Sent Storms to the Suburbs During Europe’s Deadly Summer Floods

    When it comes to extreme weather, climate change usually gets all the attention. But according to a new study, the unique effects of cities – which can intensify storms and influence where rain falls – need to be accounted for as well.

  • Examining Life-Cycle Bridge Performance and Cost Management

    A new book is an authoritative resource for “students, researchers, practitioners, infrastructure owners and managers, and transportation officials to build up their knowledge of life-cycle bridge performance and cost management at both project level and network level under various deteriorating mechanisms, hazards, and climate change effects.”

  • Antarctica’s “Doomsday” Glacier: How Its Collapse Could Trigger Global Floods and Swallow Islands

    Driven by global warming, sea level has risen around 20cm since 1900, an amount which is already forcing coastal communities out of their homes and exacerbating environmental problems such as flooding, saltwater contamination and habitat loss. The massive Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica is similar in size to Great Britain, and it contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by 65cm if it were to completely collapse. The worry is that Thwaites might not be the only glacier to go.

  • What Are the Geopolitical Risks of Manipulating the Climate?

    It would only take one country—watching its crops shrivel or its water run dry—deciding to take a chance to set in motion a global geoengineering climate experiment, and technologies which could, for example, block the sun’s rays or siphon huge amounts of carbon from the air are not that far out of reach. The effects could get out of hand quickly. Yet the international community has not established the kinds of guardrails you might expect for potentially world-changing technologies. As a result, no single governing body is overseeing geoengineering efforts on a global scale.

  • The Use of Earthquake Science for Assessing Risks to Gas Pipelines

    New study highlights the need to continue efforts to systematically quantify nationwide earthquake risk to gas pipelines in the United States, which manages the largest gas pipeline network in the world.

  • Improving Estimates of Population Exposed to Sea Level Rise: Not as Straightforward as It May Seem

    An analysis of data from 2015 finds that between 750 million and more than a billion people globally resided in the ≤ 10 meters low elevation coastal zone (LECZ), up from 521 million and 745 million in 1990. Understanding the number and location of people living LECZ is necessary for policy makers and communities preparing for and adapting to impacts from sea level rise caused by climate change.

  • Storm Drains Keep Swallowing People During Floods

    An alarming number of people (especially children) have drowned after disappearing into storm drains during floods. The deadly problem should be easy for federal, state and local government agencies to fix, but tragedy strikes again and again.

  • What's the Deal with the Log4Shell Security Nightmare?

    What started out as a Minecraft prank, has now resulted in a 5-alarm security panic as administrators and developers around the world desperately try to fix and patch systems before the cryptocurrency miners, ransomware attackers and nation-state adversaries rush to exploit thousands of software packages. Nicholas Weaver writes that “Not only does the vulnerability affect thousands of programs but the exploitation of this vulnerability is very straightforward.  Attackers are already starting to launch widespread attacks.  Further compounding the problem is the huge diversity of vulnerable systems, so those responsible for defending systems are going to have a very bad Christmas.”