• Why Did the Miami Apartment Building Collapse? And Are Others in Danger?

    It is too early to tell what caused the collapse of the Champlain Towers South Tower, but the following causes are now being examined: a progressive collapse as a result of a failure of a primary structural element, which then causes failure of adjoining members; the building was constructed on reclaimed wetlands, which may have been sinking; there was also construction work ongoing nearby, which could have disturbed the foundations; if there was a reduction in the capacity of the soil to support these loads, such as in the event of a sinkhole, there would be nothing underpinning the building.

  • Military and Defense-Related Supply Chains

    The military services, geographic combatant commanders, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and other combat support agencies have different responsibilities and incentives, and their management of their supply chains reflect these differences. These incentives drive behavior that makes individual sense for the organizations, but might not result in overall effectiveness in supporting the needs of operating forces.

  • A Simple Simulation Helps Coastal Towns Plan for Rising Sea Levels

    Climate change causes sea level rise and increasingly strong coastal storms. Knowing how water moves through coastal structures can yield important insights for residents and planners.

  • Making Our Computers More Secure

    Corporations and governments rely on computers and the internet to run everything, but security hacks just this past month —  including the Colonial Pipeline security breach and the JBS Foods ransomware attacks  — demonstrated, yet again, how vulnerable these systems are. Researchers presented new systems to make computers safer.

  • Natural Hazards Threaten 57% of U.S. Structures

    As a result of increasing temperatures and environmental changes, more than half of the structures in the contiguous United States are exposed to potentially devastating natural hazards—such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires.

  • Role of Managed Retreat as a Climate Change Response

    Managed retreat—the climate adaptation response of moving people and property out of harm’s way— is becomig more appealing as one of several responses to sea-level rise. Researchers explore what it would take for managed retreat to be supportive of people and their priorities. The key is to consider retreat alongside other responses like coastal defenses, and not just as an option of last resort.

  • “Managed Retreat” Can Reinvent Cities While Protecting Lives When Climate Change Floods, Burns or Bakes the Land

    Record-breaking heat waves; megadroughts, drying fresh-water sources; hotter and more frequent wildfires; intensifying hurricanes — this is what climate change looks like, and communities need to be prepared. Sometimes small adaptations can help reduce the heat or minimize the damage. But when the risks get too high, one strategy that has to be considered is managed retreat – the purposeful movement of people, buildings and other infrastructure away from highly hazardous places.

  • How Will We Protect American Infrastructure from Cyberattacks

    As the Colonial Pipeline hack and subsequent shutdown reminded us so recently, our infrastructure’s digital connectedness — while bringing benefits like convenience, better monitoring and remote problem-solving — leaves it vulnerable to cyberattacks.

  • How America Turned the Tables on Huawei

    The United States started warning allies and partners in 2019 that having the Chinese telecom firm Huawei build their 5G telecom infrastructure risked exposing their citizens’ and their official data to Chinese state surveillance. The Trump administration argued that countries should keep Huawei out, both for their own sake and for the sake of collective security among democratic allies.

  • New Building Standard Can Map Out Tornado Threat for the First Time

    Of the natural hazards in Mother Nature’s arsenal, tornadoes are some of the most vicious. But while other hazards are regularly considered in building designs, tornadoes have not been part of the equation for most structures in the United States, even in highly tornado-prone regions. Now, an upcoming edition of a critical building standard gives tornadoes some much needed attention.

  • Overseas Climate Change Could Devastate U.K.

    The effects of climate change overseas could have a potentially devastating impact on the economy here in the UK. The UK economy is particularly exposed to risks because of London’s prominent role at the center of the global insurance market. Climate change will lead to rising sea levels and wildfires, as well as an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and severe storms.

  • Acceleration of Coastal Overtopping around the World

    The combination of sea level rise, tides, storm surge and waves has increased the overtopping of natural and artificial coastal protection by nearly 50 percent in the last two decades. By combining satellite data and digital models, the researchers have shown that coastal overtopping, and consequently the risk of flooding, is set to further accelerate over the 21st century, by up to 50-fold under a high emission global warming scenario, especially in the tropics. This increase is principally caused by a combination of sea level rise and ocean waves.

  • Coastal Cities of the Future

    It’s time to put all the options on the table when it comes to discussing climate change adaptation. Managed retreat — the purposeful movement of people, buildings and other assets from areas vulnerable to hazards — has often been considered a last resort. But experts say it can be a powerful tool for expanding the range of possible solutions to cope with rising sea levels, flooding and other climate change effects when used proactively or in combination with other measures.

  • Managed Retreat Conference

    The Columbia Climate School and its Earth Institute, will hold a virtual conference 22-25 June 20201 on the subject of managed retreat. conference will address a range of scientific, social, policy, and governance issues around managed retreat (also known as strategic realignment and planned relocation).

  • Rare Earth Metals at the Heart of China’s Rivalry with U.S., Europe

    What if China were to cut off the United States and Europe from access to Rare Earth Elements (REEs), 17 minerals with unique characteristics which are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines, drones, batteries, sophisticated military gear, and much more? This is a time of growing geopolitical friction among these three, and the United States and Europe want to change the current dependence on China, where, today, these minerals are largely extracted and refined.