• Fighting Floods with Restoration Versus Riprap

    While both natural and man-made systems have their limits, gray infrastructure—seawalls, jetties, levees—comes with high maintenance costs, can increase erosion, or may even unintentionally retain water. Incorporating green infrastructure—beaches, dunes, islands, wetlands—into flood protection plans alongside gray infrastructure can shield communities, reduce maintenance, and provide additional social and environmental benefits.

  • U.S. Hit with $18 Billion Weather and Climate Disasters So Far This Year

    The United States saw an unprecedented eighteen separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the first nine months of the year, September 2021 was the 5th-warmest September on record.

  • Urban Areas More Likely to Have Precipitation-Triggered Landslides

    Urban areas may be at greater risk for precipitation-triggered landslides than rural areas, according to a new study that could help improve landslide predictions and hazard and risk assessments. Researchers found that urban landslide hazard was up to 10 times more sensitive to variations in precipitation than in rural areas.

  • “Self-Aware' Algorithm Wards Off Hacking Attempts

    In 2010, the Stuxnet virus was used to damage nuclear centrifuges in Iran. Researchers have come up with a powerful response: to make the computer models that run these cyberphysical systems both self-aware and self-healing.

  • New Method to Extract and Separate Rare Earth Elements

    A new method improves the extraction and separation of rare earth elements from unconventional sources. The method could help develop a domestic supply of rare earth metals from industrial waste and electronics due to be recycled.

  • Disasters: To Flee or Not to Flee

    The Montecito debris flows that occurred in January 2018 were the result of a rare confluence of two uncommonly severe events: the Thomas Fire — at that time the largest wildfire in California history — which for weeks burned through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties; and the intense winter storm that followed. Researchers say it is important to keep residents — and emergency management offices — informed about rare but potentially lethal natural events.

  • Disrupting Asteroids to Protect the Earth

    If an asteroid is on an Earth-impacting trajectory, scientists typically want to stage a deflection, where the asteroid is gently nudged by a relatively small change in velocity, while keeping the bulk of the asteroid together. Researchers have examined how different asteroid orbits and different fragment velocity distributions affect the fate of the fragments, using initial conditions from a hydrodynamics calculation, where a 1-Megaton-yield device was deployed a few meters off the surface of a 100-meter diameter asteroid.

  • U.S. Unveils New Cybersecurity Requirements for Rail, Air

    DHS has unveiled new measures to make sure the U.S. air and surface transportation sectors will not be crippled by ransomware or cyberattacks. The new measures will apply to “higher risk” rail companies, “critical” airport operators, and air passenger and air cargo companies.

  • Research Showing Increase in Tropical Cyclone Rainfall to Aid Disaster Planning

    Research on tropical cyclone precipitation extremes provides data on inland flooding that could help communities be more prepared for the high amounts of rainfall produced by storms such as Hurricane Ida in the United States.

  • Project to Look Below the Surface to Make NYC More Resilient

    Hurricanes Ida and Henri caused flooding in New York City, demonstrating the need for comprehensive, quickly accessible data about the spatial relationships between utility conduits, water and waste systems, fuel transit pipelines, transportation tunnels, and other infrastructure beneath our feet.

  • “Risk Triage” Platform Pinpoints Compounding Threats to U.S. Infrastructure

    As climate change amplifies the frequency and intensity of extreme events in the United States and around the world, and the populations and economies they threaten grow and change, there is a critical need to make infrastructure more resilient. But how can this be done in a timely, cost-effective way? Modeling tool developed by MIT researchers focuses on multi-sector dynamics.

  • New Tool Mappin Floods Since 1985 Will Aid Disaster Planning

    Free online World Flood Mapping Tool will help plan urban and agricultural development, effective flood defenses, disaster readiness, and identify supply chain vulnerabilities

  • Little Difference between Managed, Unmanaged Flows of Urban Stormwater

    A new study suggests that expensive efforts to control urban stormwater by investing heavily in green infrastructure — such as water-quality ponds, infiltration basins, porous pavement and riparian plantings — may not have much of an impact.

  • Long Power Outages After Disasters Aren’t Inevitable – but to Avoid Them, Utilities Need to Think Differently

    Americans are becoming painfully aware that U.S. energy grids are vulnerable to extreme weather events. Hurricanes in the east, wildfires in the west, ice storms, floods and even landslides can trigger widespread power shortages. And climate change is likely making many of these extreme events more frequent, more severe or both.

  • Restoring Power During Severe Storms

    Recovery, guided by common policies from FEMA and industry, varies with respect to the severity of disruptive events. The failures under study were induced by a wide range of disruptive events from hurricanes, nor’easters, and thunder and winter storms from 2011-2019, affecting nearly 12 million people.