• Texas Energy Regulators, Gas Industry Try to Reassure the Public That the State’s Power Grid Is Ready for Winter

    As state regulators and the companies that power the grid take steps to avoid another catastrophe like February’s winter storm, climate experts say this winter will likely be milder.

  • Community-Based Solutions to Enhance Disaster Resilience

    The NSF announced a $15.9 million in awards to teams to conduct and evaluate ready-to-implement pilot projects that address community-identified challenges. A significant portion of the funds was awarded to projects focusing on resilience to natural disasters in the context of equipping communities for greater preparedness to and response after disasters such as floods, hurricanes and wildfires.

  • Ground Improvement Technique Ahead of Earthquakes

    Helping engineers better understand and predict the “liquefaction” hazard during earthquakes and more reliably mitigate it.

  • Can Europe Compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative?

    The European Union this week launched a $340 billion “Global Gateway” fund to boost global infrastructure, which analysts say is aimed at rivaling China’s Belt and Road Initiative. But can the EU’s project compete with Beijing’s billions?

  • Balance of Power—Building a Resilient Electric Grid

    Events such as blackouts and outages are increasing in frequency as the nation’s infrastructure ages and climate change leads to extreme weather events. Hotter, wetter summers and harsher winters require more reliance on heating and cooling utilities, placing higher stress on the nation’s electric grid. Newtechnology can ‘help keep the lights on’ during emergencies.

  • Microgrids May Hold the Key to Grid Resilience

    The aging energy grid is being pushed to the breaking point. Power outages from extreme weather alone cost anywhere from $2 billion to $77 billion per year. And some isolated communities still rely on diesel generators for electricity, since powerlines don’t reach them. Grid expansion isn’t an option—in most cases, the economics don’t make sense. When the main grid falls short, the right mix of renewables offers local, low-carbon power.

  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Europe?

    Earthquakes and tsunamis do not only threaten distant coasts, but also ports, cities and coasts in European waters. Researchers, provides for the first time comprehensive information on the marine geological hazards that can affect countries across Europe. The manifold risks should be considered more strongly in political and economic decisions.

  • New Generation of Grid Emergency Control Technology

    Grid operators face big challenges and big opportunities when it comes to managing through emergency conditions that disrupt power service. The increasing number of power outages in the United States cost an estimated $30-50 billion and affect millions of customers each year. A real-time adaptive system can safeguard the grid against costly disruptions.

  • Boosting Resilience of U.S. Timekeeping

    The U.S. should bolster research and development of systems that distribute accurate time via fiber-optic cable and radio as part of the effort to back up GPS and enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure that depends on it.

  • “People Should Probably Be Worried”: Texas Hasn’t Done Enough to Prevent Another Winter Blackout, Experts Say

    Natural gas powers the majority of electricity in Texas, especially during winter. Some power companies say the state’s gas system is not ready for another deep freeze.

  • Stacked Deep Learning: Deeper Defense against Cyberattacks

    Internet-based industrial control systems are widely used to monitor and operate factories and critical infrastructure. Moving these systems online has made them cheaper and easier to access, but it has also made them more vulnerable to attack. Stacked deep learning offers a better way to detect hacking into industrial control systems. 

  • Machine Learning Helps Measure Building Earthquake Damage

    One obstacle which often prevent an effective response to earthquakes is that the buildings from which such a response is managed and response equipment stored, are themselves damaged. Researchers have developed a method to quickly assess damage to such buildings immediately after an earthquake to determine whether the buildings can be continued to be used.  

  • Big Batteries on Wheels: Zero-Emissions Rail While Securing the Grid

    Trains have been on the sidelines of electrification efforts for a long time in the U.S. because they account for only 2 percent of transportation sector emissions, but diesel freight trains emit 35 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce air pollution that leads to $6.5 billion in health costs, resulting in an estimated 1,000 premature deaths each year. Researchers show how battery-electric trains can deliver environmental benefits, cost-savings, and resilience to the U.S.

  • How Climate Change Will Impact National Security

    The recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) lays out the likely security implications over the next two decades of the mounting climate crisis. Calder Walton, the research director at Harvard’s Belfer Center, says: “Let’s start with the basics: that climate change does pose a threat to U.S. national security. The National Intelligence Estimate is a joint assessment produced by the entire U.S. intelligence community, 18 agencies. That’s significant. There are no naysayers; there’s no doubt. So that’s a breakthrough. In this extraordinarily polarized and politicized environment, that is a big milestone itself.”

  • First Planetary Defense Test

    An asteroid slammed into Earth 63 billion years ago, igniting vast fires which threw smoke and soot into the atmosphere, plunging the planet into a prolonged winter, killing many plants on which herbivores depended. The extinction of the dinosaurs was only one consequence of that event. NASA wants to make sure there is no repetition of such a calamity: The agency is planning the first-ever planetary defense test, which deliberately collides a spacecraft into an asteroid called Dimorphos. The aim is to try and deflect the asteroid away from its Earth-bound trajectory.