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        • FloodsMichigan Governor Vows Legal Action After Devastating Floods

          Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state will pursue “every line of legal recourse” against the owners of one of two dams that failed earlier this week, causing severe flooding in several communities. More than 10,000 residents in the central town of Midland were evacuated Wednesday as the Tittabawassee River overran its banks hours after the Edenville Dam, located 32 kilometers north, failed after several days of heavy seasonal rains.

        • Seismic warningsSeparating Industrial Noise from Natural Seismic Signals

          For the first time, seismologists can characterize signals as a result of some industrial human activity on a continent-wide scale using cloud computing. A transformative, cloud-computing approach to analyzing data helps researchers better understand seismic activity.

        • Food securityGame-Changing Technologies to Transform Food Systems

          In the next three decades, the world will need a 30–70 percent increase in food availability to meet the demand from an increasing population. In addition, the global food system will need to change profoundly if it is going to provide humanity with healthy food that is grown sustainably in ways that are not only resilient in the face of climate change but also do not surpass planetary boundaries. According to new research, a pipeline of disruptive technologies could transform our food systems, ecosystems, and human health, but attention to the enabling environment is needed to realize their potential.

        • Floods & emergency responseFloods and Emergency Response Time

          First responders, such as fire and ambulance services, will likely struggle to reach urgent cases in a timely manner during flooding in England, researchers found. The researchers investigated how various levels of flooding impact the ability of emergency services to reach urgent cases.

        • VolcanoesMount St. Helens’ 1980 Eruption Changed Volcanology

          If scientists armed with today’s monitoring tools and knowledge could step back in time to the two months before 18 May 1980, they would have been able to better forecast the forthcoming devastating eruption.

        • Climate challengesDouble-Whammy Weather: Increased Frequency of Connected Drought-Heavy Rain Patterns

          Like an undulating seesaw, weather in some regions swings from drought to heavy rain under the weight of climate-induced changes, a new study finds. The analysis finds a link between droughts followed by heavy rain events, along with an increased rate of these successive extreme weather occurrences.

        • Climate challengesForging a New Field: Finance Sustainability

          Climate economists have long focused on governmental policies, economic welfare and the economy as a whole. Financial economists – who study corporate bottom lines – had no scholarly forum for examining the intersection of finance and climate change – until now.

        • Climate challengesNew App Helps Combat Climate Change

          Researchers studying the relationship between road designs and conditions and excess fuel consumption and environmental impact, designed an app aiming to reduce carbon pollution, conserve fuel, and minimize the environmental impact of driving.

        • Coastal challengesHarnessing Wave Power to Rebuild Islands

          Many island nations, including the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, are facing an existential threat as a result of a rising sea level induced by global climate change. Researchers are testing ways of harnessing nature’s own forces to help maintain and rebuild threatened islands and coastlines.

        • VolcanoesSpeech Recognition Techniques Help Predict Volcanoes’ Behavior

          Researchers are aiming to automatically analyze volcanic activities to develop early-warning models that could save the lives of people living near volcanoes. Machine learning has been used for  pattern identification in speech recognition, and researchers say the same technique can be used to understand patterns of volcanic “behavior.”

        • Coastal challengesAs Sea Levels Rise, Are We Ready to Live Behind Giant Walls?

          By Hannah Cloke

          Of all the many varied impacts in a warming planet, sea level rise is one of the most straightforward to predict because sea water expands as it warms and because extra water is flowing from melting glaciers and ice sheets. Given the costs of flooded coastal cities, European Commission scientists suggest that it would save money in the long run to build improved sea defenses around 70% of the continent’s coastline. Do we really want to live in a world in which we all live behind huge walls? Is this the only way to adapt?

        • Planetary quarantine“Planetary Quarantine”: Risks of Alien Contamination

          In Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain, a deadly alien microbe hitches a ride to Earth aboard a downed military satellite and scientists must race to contain it. While fictional, the plot explores a very real and longstanding concern shared by NASA and world governments: that spacefaring humans, or our robotic emissaries, may unwittingly contaminate Earth with extraterrestrial life or else biologically pollute other planets we visit.

        • TsunamisPark-Like Tsunami Defenses: Sustainable Alternative to Towering Seawalls

          In tsunami preparedness, it turns out there can be strength in beauty. Rows of green hills strategically arranged along coastlines can help to fend off destruction from tsunamis while preserving ocean views and access to the shore. For some communities, they may offer a better option than towering seawalls.

        • Coastal challengesSea Level Could Rise More than 1 Meter by 2100 if Emission Targets Are Not Met

          Global mean sea-level rise could exceed 1 meter by 2100 and 5 meters by 2300 with unchecked emissions, a survey among 100 leading international experts finds. The risk assessment is based on the increasing body of knowledge of the systems involved – while the scientists highlight the remaining uncertainties, they say it is clear now that previous sea-level rise estimates have been too low.

        • Disasters’ impactDisaster Strikes Locally, but Urban Networks Spread the Damage Globally

          Disasters that occur in one place can trigger costs in cities across the world due to the interconnectedness of the global urban trade network. In fact, these secondary impacts can be three times greater than the local impacts.

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