• Prioritizing Cybersecurity Risk in Election Infrastructure

    How can jurisdictions at each level prioritize their efforts to combat the risk of cyberattacks on their election systems? How can they assess the likelihood of a successful attack? How can they assess the scale and severity of an attack?

  • Laredo Confronts Drought and Water Shortage with Minimal Options

    A mounting water supply crisis in scorching far-South Texas has left local governments pressed to respond. Two major cities, Brownsville and McAllen, rolled out watering restrictions in recent weeks, but leaders in the South Texas city of Laredo are reluctant to impose substantial restrictions on watering lawns even as water supplies near record lows.

  • Thirty Years After Hurricane Andrew Devastated Florida, Researchers Are Using a “Wall of Wind” to Design Safer Homes – but Storms Are Getting Even More Intense

    Studies show 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 like Dorian will require new test facilities that go well beyond today’s capabilities – for what we believe should be called Category 6 storms.

  • Scientists Evaluate Earth-Cooling Strategies

    A group of international scientists is – more rigorously and systematically than ever before – evaluating whether and how the stratosphere could be made just a little bit “brighter,” reflecting more incoming sunlight so that an ever-warming Earth maintains its cool.

  • Strengthening Puerto Rico's Power Grid

    The 2017 Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on Puerto Rico in 2017, it ravaged the island’s power grid and caused the longest blackout in U.S. history. Maria left many residents without power for nearly a year. As more hurricanes threaten, Puerto Rico utilities are shoring up their defenses using the Electrical Grid Resilience and Assessment System (EGRASS) planning tool.

  • Are Attacks on Nuclear Plants Legal under International Law?

    As fears rise that there could be a nuclear disaster at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant, DW looks at the Geneva Conventions, to which both Russia and Ukraine are signatories. Targeting nuclear plants is not actually banned.

  • Predicting Landslides Along Wildfire Burn Scars

    A wildfire followed by an intense rainstorm is often a recipe for disaster. Without vegetation to cushion rainfall, water runoff can turn into fast-moving, highly destructive landslides. Simulations could become an early warning system for people living in high-risk areas.

  • Is the Electrical Grid Prepared for Climate Change?

    Summer heat waves across the country tested whether America’s aging electrical grid can keep up with demand—a problem scientists say will be exacerbated by climate change, as severe hurricanes, wildfires and other weather events occur more frequently, disrupting electricity generation and transmission.

  • Pipe Dreams: Why Far-Fetched Western Water Projects Won’t Go Away

    There are at least half a dozen major Western water pipeline projects under consideration, ranging from ambitious to outlandish.most of these projects stand little chance of becoming reality — they’re ideas from a bygone era, one that has more in common with the world of Chinatown than the parched west of the present.

  • World's Biggest Ice Sheet Could Cause Massive Sea Rise Without Action

    A new study shows that the worst effects of global warming on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) could be avoided. That depends upon temperatures not rising by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

  • How the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Works

    The United States is the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. The country’s economy runs on these fossil fuels, but producing and burning them releases greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Russia’s war in Ukraine stoked the debate over whether the United States should boost production to strengthen U.S. and European energy independence or reduce production, improve efficiency, and transition to renewables. The U.S. decision to either continue at the current pace of oil and gas production or curb production to achieve its climate goals will have global consequences.

  • Wealthiest Homeowners Most at Risk of Wildfire Hazard

    The top 10 cent most valuable homes in the western United States are 70% more likely to be in high wildfire hazard areas than median-value properties, measured by county.

  • Planning Climate-Smart Power Systems

    Unprecedented heat waves, storms, and wildfires are pushing electrical grids in the United States to their limits. An energy scientist and a climate scientist discuss how utilities can plan for a resilient electrical grid in the face of an uncertain climate future.

  • NSF Grants to Protect Data, User privacy

    Researchers are working on two new cybersecurity projects, recently funded by the National Science Foundation, to ensure trustworthy cloud computing and increase computing privacy for marginalized and vulnerable populations.

  • New Dataset Shows Value Building Flexibility Adds to Grid

    New study estimates the gross value (including capacity, energy, and ancillary service values) of generic building flexibility in future power systems projected for the contiguous United States using computer modeling. Building flexibility refers to a building’s capability to shed, shift, and modulate electricity demand.