• 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.

  • Water securityComparing Water Risk Tools for Companies and Investors

    Faced with worsening water security across the globe, companies and investors are increasingly concerned about the water risks faced by their operations, supply chains and investments – and looking for tools to help to assess these risks. New report details similarities and differences between three leading water tools.

  • 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.

  • NukesCold War Nuclear Tests Changed U.K. Rainfall

    Nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War may have changed rainfall patterns thousands of miles from the detonation sites, new research has revealed. Scientists have researched how the electric charge released by radiation from the test detonations, carried out predominantly by the U.S. and Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s, affected rainclouds at the time.

  • 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 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?

  • 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.

  • Nuclear powerAn Atomic Catch 22: Climate Change and the Decline of America's Nuclear Fleet

    By Eric Scheuch

    Nuclear energy in the United States has become deeply unprofitable in the last decade, driven by a combination of aging infrastructure and other electricity sources like renewables and natural gas simply becoming cheaper to build and operate. While some in the environmental community may cheer nuclear’s decline, others are concerned. Love it or hate it, nuclear plays a unique role in the American electric sector, one for which we currently have no market-ready replacement, and its decline will likely make other environmental issues, particularly climate change, harder to solve.

  • Food securityClimate Change Increases Risk of Fisheries Conflict

    A team of fisheries scientists and marine policy experts examined how climate change is affecting the ocean environment and found that the changing conditions will likely result in increased fisheries-related conflicts and create new challenges in the management of global fisheries.

  • Water securityChanges in Snowmelt Threaten Farmers in Western U.S.

    Farmers in parts of the western United States who rely on snowmelt to help irrigate their crops will be among the hardest hit in the world by climate change, a new study reveals. The study pinpointed basins globally most at risk of not having enough water available at the right times for irrigation because of changes in snowmelt patterns. Two of those high-risk areas are the San Joaquin and Colorado river basins in the western United States.

  • Waterfront challengesWaterfront Development Added Billions to Property Values Exposed to Hurricane Florence

    By Rebecca Fowler

    Rapid development in flood-prone zones during recent decades helped boost the amount of property exposed to 2018’s devastating Hurricane Florence substantially, a new study says. It estimates that the value of property in North Carolina and South Carolina potentially exposed to flooding at $52 billion—$42 billion more than at the start of the century (in 2018 dollars). While much development took place between 1950 and 2000, financial risk rose quickly afterward because much of it clustered along coastlines and adjacent to rivers and lakes, where buildings were more vulnerable to flooding.

  • HurricanesHuman-Caused Warming Cause More Slow-Moving Hurricanes

    Hurricanes moving slowly over an area can cause more damage than faster-moving storms, because the longer a storm lingers, the more time it has to pound an area with storm winds and drop huge volumes of rain, leading to flooding. The extraordinary damage caused by storms like Dorian (2019), Florence (2018) and Harvey (2017) prompted researchers to wonder whether global climate change will make these slow-moving storms more common.

  • Coastal challengesNew Flood Damage Framework to Help Planners Prepare for Sea-Level Rise

    Scientists agree that sea levels will continue to rise this century, but projections beyond 2050 are much more uncertain regarding exactly how much higher ocean levels will be by 2100. While actions to protect against 2050 sea-level rise have a secure scientific basis, this range in late-century estimates makes it difficult for coastal communities to plan their long-term adaptation strategies.

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