• ResilienceProject 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.

  • Energy securityPlanning for the Future in a Changing Climate

    How can companies, for example, utilities, know how changes in climate will impact their assets and their business strategy? And what can they do to identify and address issues before they affect customers? A partnership between the largest state public power entity in the U.S., the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Argonne National Laboratory will enable the utility to better assess how its assets and business may be affected by extreme weather and other hazards.

  • Coastal challengesA 20-Foot Sea Wall Won’t Save Miami – How Living Structures Can Help Protect the Coast and Keep the Paradise Vibe

    By Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos and Brian Haus

    There’s no question that the city is at increasing risk of flooding as sea level rises and storms intensify with climate change. But the sea wall the Army Corps is proposing – protecting only 6 miles of downtown and the financial district from a storm surge – can’t save Miami and Dade County. There are more effective – and cheaper solutions.

  • Coastal challengesMapping How Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Strategies Impact Economies, Floodwaters

    Sea levels are expected to rise by almost seven feet in the Bay Area by 2100. New research shows how traditional approaches to combating sea-level rise can create a domino effect of environmental and economic impacts for nearby communities.

  • DamsBipartisan Legislation Addresses Dams’ Safety, Hydropower

    There are more than 90,000 dams in the U.S., including 6,000 “high-hazard” dams with poor, unsatisfactory, or unknown safety ratings, posing threats to life and property. Hydropower is responsible for 6 percent of electricity production in the U.S.— and more than 90 percent of the U.S. current electricity storage capacity — but the dams which generate this power are aging and need upgrades.

  • WildfiresWildfires Threaten California’s Power Grid

    Wildfires blazed through California, Arizona, and Oregon, driven by winds and a lack of humidity.. Death Valley in California’s Mohave Desert hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit. Utility officials in Oregon were keeping a weary eye on the Bootleg Fire which is raging out of control in southern Oregon and threatening Path 66 — a vital electric line corridor linking California with the Oregon power grid. The blaze in Oregon threatens the power lines which carry power to California.

  • GunsNew York Defines Illegal Firearms Use as a “Public Nuisance” in Bid to Pierce Gun Industry’s Powerful Liability Shield

    By Timothy D. Lytton

    New York will soon test that notion that calling the illegal use of firearms a “public nuisance” could bring an end to the gun industry’s immunity from civil lawsuits. I’ve been researching lawsuits against the gun industry for over 20 years, and I doubt that the New York statute would end the gun industry’s immunity from liability. It is even less clear whether the statute will do much to curb gun violence.

  • Coastal challengesFor Flood-Prone Cities, Seawalls Raise as Many Questions as They Answer

    By Gary Griggs

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, whose mission includes maintaining waterways and reducing disaster risks, has recently proposed building large and expensive seawalls to protect a number of U.S. cities, neighborhoods and shorelines from coastal storms and rising seas. As a scientist who studies the evolution and development of coastlines and the impacts of sea level rise, I believe that large-scale seawalls, which cost billions of dollars to build, are almost certainly a short-term strategy that will protect only a few cities, and will protect only selected portions of those cities effectively.

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

    By Trivess Moore and David Oswald

    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.

  • Guns“Red Flag” Gun Laws and State Efforts to Block Local Legislation

    Red flag” gun laws—which allow law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from a person at risk of harming themselves or others—are gaining attention at the state and federal levels, but are under scrutiny by legislators who deem them unconstitutional. Legal scholars outline how such laws can reduce gun violence and still protect constitutional rights.

  • Water securityTexas Must Address Groundwater Future: Study

    Long-term water security is essential for the future of Texas, and the state acutely needs a common law system that can balance world-scale agricultural activity, industrial development and urban growth while also protecting private property rights, according to new research.

  • DisastersPuerto Rico is Prone to More Flooding Than the Island is Prepared to Handle

    Puerto Rico is not ready for another hurricane season, let alone the effects of climate change, according to a new study that shows the island’s outstanding capacity to produce record-breaking floods and trigger a large number of landslides.

  • Nuclear powerSmall Modular Reactors Competitive in Washington’s Clean Energy Future

    As the Clean Energy Transformation Act drives Washington state toward carbon-free electricity, a new energy landscape is taking shape. Alongside renewable energy sources, a new report finds small modular reactors are poised to play an integral role in the state’s emerging clean energy future.

  • Electric gridResearchers Study Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Grid-Tied System in Texas

    By Deana Totzke

    Scientists are continuously looking for alternatives to fossil fuel-based power plants to diminish the adverse effects of fossil energy sources on the environment and build reliability. Researchers are studying the viability of solar photovoltaic (PV) grid-tied systems on rooftops to fill that need.

  • GunsIn Oregon, New Gun Violence Restraining Orders Appear to Be Used as Intended

    Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), also known as gun violence restraining orders, are civil court orders that grant temporary restrictions on purchasing and possessing firearms for individuals determined by a civil court judge to be at extreme risk of committing violence against themselves or others. A new study found that while ERPOs are commonly considered as a tool to remove guns from dangerous individuals, they should also be considered as a tool to prevent gun purchases by dangerous individuals.