• Water Scarcity Drives EU Countries to Restrict Access to Drinking Water

    Climate change is making itself felt across the continent, as severe droughts and scarce rain have forced water restrictions in southern European countries. In northern Italy, more than 100 cities and towns have imposed water consumption limits on residents.

  • How Does the U.S. Power Grid Work?

    Responsible for powering the country and its economy, the U.S. energy grid has come under increasing strain due to climate change, and the threat of cyberattacks looms. The U.S. electric grid brings power to millions of homes and businesses via a vast network of transmission and distribution lines. Experts say the grid is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as the February 2021 Texas winter storms, and cyberattacks. President Biden has proposed overhauling the grid, but his plans could face legal and political hurdles.

  • Researchers Simulate Defense of the Earth

    Sixty-six million years ago, a giant asteroid impact on the Earth likely caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Currently no known asteroid poses an immediate threat. But if one day a large asteroid were to be discovered on a collision course with Earth, it might have to be deflected from its trajectory to prevent catastrophic consequences.

  • Sea Levels Rise and Floods Intensify, So Governments Consider Managed Retreat

    As climate changes, rising sea levels and disastrous flooding are becoming ever more common, and they could force billions to move during the next decades. Instead of trying to prolong the inevitable by building sea walls, importing sand to build protective dunes and berms, planting mangrove, and raising structures on stilts, some communities are already adapting: They are developing plans to move away from vulnerable areas to higher ground inland.

  • Soon: Fire-Safe, Recyclable Lithium-Metal Batteries

    To power our increasingly electrified society, energy storage technology must evolve and adapt to meet the growing demand. Lithium-ion batteries, already essential to myriad technology, will require dramatic improvements in high-energy density, safety, temperature resilience, and environmental sustainability in order to provide the type of emission-free future that so many envision. Such improvements are here.

  • Announcing the Electric Resilience Toolkit

    A new Electric Resilience Toolkit aims to support policymakers and stakeholders working on issues around electric sector regulation and climate resilience planning. Such planning is essential to ensure electricity infrastructure is designed and operated in a way that accounts for the impacts of climate change—impacts that are already being felt and which will only intensify in coming years.

  • NIST Champlain Towers South Investigation

    The NIST investigation into the June 2021 collapse of Surfside, Florida, condo building , is preparing to begin invasive testing and preparation of physical evidence collected from the collapse site.

  • The Administration’s New Vision for the National Flood Insurance Program

    The Biden administration is proposing a major overhaul to the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP — the main source of insurance for homeowners who are required to or choose to obtain coverage for flooding. The administration’s flood insurance reforms could improve transparency — and make some Americans more vulnerable.

  • Assessing the Environmental Impact of Nuclear Power Generation

    Nuclear power is considered a panacea for the environmental degradation caused by fossil fuels. However, its environmental impact and natural resource use need to be assessed. Researchers make a life cycle assessment of resource use in nuclear power generation from uranium.

  • Will Germany Return to Nuclear Power?

    As Germany moves to wean itself off Russian energy, politicians are debating a pause to the country’s planned nuclear phaseout. Experts warn, however, that it may not be so easy.

  • Climate Changes Lead to Water Imbalance, Conflict in Tibetan Plateau

    Climate change is putting an enormous strain on global water resources, and according to researchers, the Tibetan Plateau is suffering from a water imbalance so extreme that it could lead to an increase in international conflicts.

  • Nuclear Forensics International Group Anniversary Meeting at Livermore

    After a little more than 25 years, the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is returning to its roots in Livermore, California. Founded in 1995 in a meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the ITWG met in Europe for 24 straight years from 1996 through 2019.

  • Developing Novel Hybrid Reef-Mimicking Structures

    Despite previous efforts to implement storm mitigation solutions — including concrete breakwaters — damage due to storm surge and flooding continues to devastate coastal areas around the world. In response to these threats, DARPA has launched the Reefense program to develop self-healing, hybrid biological, and engineered reef-mimicking structures to protect civilian and DoD infrastructure, personnel by mitigating damage related to coastal flooding, erosion and storm surge.

  • Preparing National Security Officials for the Challenges of AI

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of several rapidly emerging technologies that promise to disrupt not only multiple sectors of the U.S. economy but also the manner in which the U.S. government carries out its foundational responsibility to protect national security consistent with the rule of law and constitutional values. Steve Bunnell writes that “The United States’ national security apparatus is not known for nimbleness, nor is the law that governs it. When it comes to AI, the risk is not just that our generals will fight tomorrow’s war with yesterday’s strategy but also that the United States will lack the legal and policy guardrails that are essential to a lawful, accountable, and ethical protection of the nation’s security.”

  • Declining Water Reserves in California May Cut Hydropower Use in Half This Summer

    As summer approaches, it’s clear that the heavy rains which pummeled California in late 2021 did little to shore up the state’s water reserves, and analysts are warning that the state’s hydroelectric supplies — a cheap source of clean power in California — are once again at risk.