• Researchers Simulate Defense of the Earth

    Sixty-six million years ago, a giant asteroid impact on the Earth likely caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Currently no known asteroid poses an immediate threat. But if one day a large asteroid were to be discovered on a collision course with Earth, it might have to be deflected from its trajectory to prevent catastrophic consequences.

  • Sea Levels Rise and Floods Intensify, So Governments Consider Managed Retreat

    As climate changes, rising sea levels and disastrous flooding are becoming ever more common, and they could force billions to move during the next decades. Instead of trying to prolong the inevitable by building sea walls, importing sand to build protective dunes and berms, planting mangrove, and raising structures on stilts, some communities are already adapting: They are developing plans to move away from vulnerable areas to higher ground inland.

  • Announcing the Electric Resilience Toolkit

    A new Electric Resilience Toolkit aims to support policymakers and stakeholders working on issues around electric sector regulation and climate resilience planning. Such planning is essential to ensure electricity infrastructure is designed and operated in a way that accounts for the impacts of climate change—impacts that are already being felt and which will only intensify in coming years.

  • NIST Champlain Towers South Investigation

    The NIST investigation into the June 2021 collapse of Surfside, Florida, condo building , is preparing to begin invasive testing and preparation of physical evidence collected from the collapse site.

  • The Administration’s New Vision for the National Flood Insurance Program

    The Biden administration is proposing a major overhaul to the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP — the main source of insurance for homeowners who are required to or choose to obtain coverage for flooding. The administration’s flood insurance reforms could improve transparency — and make some Americans more vulnerable.

  • Developing Novel Hybrid Reef-Mimicking Structures

    Despite previous efforts to implement storm mitigation solutions — including concrete breakwaters — damage due to storm surge and flooding continues to devastate coastal areas around the world. In response to these threats, DARPA has launched the Reefense program to develop self-healing, hybrid biological, and engineered reef-mimicking structures to protect civilian and DoD infrastructure, personnel by mitigating damage related to coastal flooding, erosion and storm surge.

  • Preparing National Security Officials for the Challenges of AI

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of several rapidly emerging technologies that promise to disrupt not only multiple sectors of the U.S. economy but also the manner in which the U.S. government carries out its foundational responsibility to protect national security consistent with the rule of law and constitutional values. Steve Bunnell writes that “The United States’ national security apparatus is not known for nimbleness, nor is the law that governs it. When it comes to AI, the risk is not just that our generals will fight tomorrow’s war with yesterday’s strategy but also that the United States will lack the legal and policy guardrails that are essential to a lawful, accountable, and ethical protection of the nation’s security.”

  • Add-on Benefits of Natural Defenses Against Sea-Level Rise

    Researchers modeled how investing in environmental conservation and protection can help San Mateo County, California, adapt to rising seas. The findings provide incentives for policymakers to prioritize nature-based approaches when planning for sea-level rise.

  • The Risk of Drinking Contaminated Water During Flooding

    In addition to causing property damage and psychological impacts, flooding can pose a significant health risk, particularly due to contamination of drinking water sources. Researchers are a decision-making tool to estimate the risk of water contamination in flooded areas.

  • Groundwater Depletion Causes California Farmland to Sink

    A new study simulates 65 years of land subsidence, or sinking, caused by groundwater depletion in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The results suggest significant sinking may continue for centuries after water levels stop declining but could slow within a few years if aquifers recover.

  • Operational Protection of Water Infrastructure Against Cyber-Physical Threats

    As the water supply system becomes more digitalized, cyberthreats are increasing. It is time for an all-hazard risk management and mitigation system.

  • The Wall of Wind Can Blow Away Buildings at Category 5 Hurricane Strength to Help Engineers Design Safer Homes – but Even That Isn’t Powerful Enough

    When engineers built the Wall of Wind test facility 10 years ago at Florida International University, it was inspired by Hurricane Andrew, a monster of a storm that devastated South Florida in 1992. Tropical storms are ramping up in intensity as the climate changes and ocean and air temperatures rise. Designing homes and infrastructure to withstand future storms will require new test facilities that go well beyond today’s capabilities.

  • A Quarter of World's Internet Users Rely on Infrastructure Highly Vulnerable to Attack

    About a quarter of the world’s Internet users live in countries that are more susceptible than previously thought to targeted attacks on their Internet infrastructure. Many of the at-risk countries are located in the Global South.

  • Mitigating Flood Disasters

    Engineers have proposed a flood control measure which recommends designing permeable pavements to specifically suit local rainfall and soil conditions and reduce flood impacts.

  • Food Production Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

    Wide-ranging use of smart technologies is raising global agricultural production but cyber experts warn this digital-age phenomenon could reap a crop of another kind – cybersecurity attacks.