• When Water Is Coming from All Sides

    When hurricanes hit, it is not solely the storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean that led to flooding. Inland sources, like rain-swollen rivers, lakes and suburban culverts, also contributed significantly. Researchers have developed and tested the world’s first 3D operational storm surge model, which takes these factors, which were missed by many computer models at the time, into account.

  • Losing a Hectare of Wetlands Could Cost $8,000 Per Year in Flood Damages

    A new study finds that the loss of a hectare of wetlands — an area of land roughly the size of two football fields — costs society an average of $1,900 in flood damages per year. In developed areas, that figure jumps to more than $8,000.

  • 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

  • The Resilience and Safety of Nuclear Power in the Face of Extreme Events

    As the prospect of extreme global events grows — from natural disasters and intensifying climate change-driven weather patterns that could affect a nuclear plant, to a rise in infectious diseases that could affect its workforce — nuclear power plants’ adaptable workforces and robust designs will be essential to staying resilient and contributing to a low carbon path to the future.

  • 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.

  • Russia’s Energy Role in Europe: What Is at Stake with the Ukraine Crisis

    The prospect of a major Russian offensive in Ukraine has brought European dependence on Russian energy into sharp relief and set off a scramble for alternatives.

  • Can the U.S. Find Enough Natural Gas Sources to Neutralize Russia’s Energy Leverage Over Europe?

    The prospect of conflict between Russia and NATO countries over Ukraine has raised fears of an energy crisis in Europe. To weaken Russia’s leverage, the Biden administration is working to secure additional gas shipments to Europe from other sources. “Putin may be willing to bet that an energy pricing crisis in Europe will sow popular discontent, scotch the energy transition and help Russia win concessions on NATO’s positioning of troops and missiles. But there is little evidence that Europe will react that way,” says an energy expert.

  • 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.

  • Nord Stream 2 Will Not Move Forward If Russia Invades Ukraine

    U.S. said it would work with Germany to ensure that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany does not begin operations if Russia invades Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the pipeline a “private sector project,” as did his predecessor Angela Merkel, but he has hardened his position in the past few days.

  • 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.

  • Smart Electric Grid to Power Our Future

    A novel plan that offers partnership in keeping the United States electric grid stable and reliable could be a win-win for consumers and utility operators.

  • U.S. Developing Energy Contingency Plan for Europe in Case of Russia’s Cuts in Oil, Gas Exports

    Moscow provides approximately 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas, and European energy stockpiles have been significantly lower in the past few months because of reduced Russian supplies. The Biden administration has been working with European countries and energy producers around the world on ways to supply fuel to Western European countries should Russian President Vladimir Putin slash oil and gas exports in retaliation for sanctions imposed for an invasion of Ukraine.

  • Ensuring Safe Nuclear Waste Disposal

    Disposal concepts call for the waste to be isolated a third of a mile belowground for safe storage, enclosed within engineered barrier systems and surrounded by subsurface rock. But there’s still the chance radionuclides might leak out if these systems lose their protective properties as it heats up due to radioactive decay. International nuclear waste disposal research effort evaluates maximum allowable temperature for buffer material.

  • Next Renewable Energy Source: An Artificial Leaf

    Solar energy is not a new concept and has been implemented on a grand scale world-wide. But researchers are looking at another possible renewable method of harnessing the power of the Sun: photosynthesis.