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11 July 2016
Climate tipping points: What do they mean for society?
The phrase “tipping point” passed its own tipping point and caught fire after author Malcolm Gladwell’s so-named 2000 book. It’s now frequently used in discussions about climate change, but what are “climate tipping points”? And what do they mean for society and the economy?
24 June 2014
The risky business of climate change
Up to $106 billion worth of coastal homes and businesses in the U.S. are likely to be underwater by the year 2050 due to rising sea levels, and up to $507 billion in coastal property will likely be below sea level by 2100, according to a new report released today. The report is based in part on a new study on sea level rise in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
28 June 2013
Carbon-cutting steps like those Obama proposed could improve, and worsen, water woes
As President Obama announced sweeping policies Tuesday aimed at curbing carbon emissions and combating climate change, water resources experts at a Washington, D.C. meeting across town from where Obama spoke discussed the entwined nature of water conservation and energy production .”Saving greenhouse gas emissions saves water too,” said Robert Jackson of Duke University in Durham, N.C., as he and other panelists discussed retrofitting power plants that burn coal or other fossil fuels and turning to alternative energy sources.
28 June 2012
Fracking in the United States: Scientists’ research addresses multiple concerns
From 2000 to 2010, improvements to a gas-drilling technology known as hydraulic fracturing have helped produce more domestic natural gas than in any other decade in U.S. history. While “fracking” has helped reduce natural gas prices and U.S. dependence on foreign supplies, the procedure is surrounded with contention concerning human and environmental health. “There are adverse environmental changes that occur with hydraulic fracturing,” said Richard Hammack who is the Coordinator of Natural Systems Monitoring for the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) – a collaborator of the U.S Geological Survey (USGS). “And part of our job is to find ways to mitigate those either through different management techniques or through development of new and better technology.”
1 May 2012
Warmer polar regions lead to hardships for arctic inhabitants
A few inches of seashore loss per year is usually cause for alarm among coastal communities. This is nothing to the Alaskan inhabitants of Newtok, who have experienced as much as 100 lateral feet of shoreline loss in the same amount of time.
2 April 2012
Tornado experts call for improved forecasting of deadly twisters
More than 250 tornadoes struck the United States in the first three months of 2012, touching down along a corridor from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. Residents need to be better prepared for these deadly twisters, say scientists and experts on severe weather and emergency preparedness.
23 March 2012
Tsunami preparedness briefing on Capitol Hill stresses disaster education
A year after the tsunami that devastated the Japanese coastline, the United States still needs to ramp up its tsunami preparedness, experts say. Scientists at a March 21 Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, D.C., stressed the importance of detecting tsunamis before they reach coastlines and educating the public on tsunami dangers.
7 December 2011
Volcanic bridges across the abyss
A 200 nautical mile zone surrounds the United States, starting from three miles off U.S. shores, called the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Within the EEZ everything between the ocean surface and below the seafloor falls under U.S. jurisdiction – including fisheries or seafloor minerals. Proving that the continental shelf naturally extends past 200 nautical miles would allow the United States control of what is found on the seafloor and beneath it.
14 December 2010
Lessons from John Holdren’s lecture: Your help is needed!
If the attendance at yesterday’s lecture by John Holdren made anything clear, it’s that scientists are definitely interested in the intersection between science and society. Nearly 2000 attendees at the AGU Fall Meeting came to listen to Dr. Holdren, President Obama’s advisor for science and technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House. Holdren spoke about the plethora of societal issues whose solutions …
9 March 2010
U.S. House of Representatives Acts to Reduce Hazards
The U.S. House of Representatives approved last week a bill that renews two important federal programs aimed at mitigating and reducing destruction from natural disasters. This legislation, H.R. 3820, the Natural Hazards Risk Reduction Act of 2010, was approved on 2 March with a vote of 335-50. First, the bill renews the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which was created in 1977. Not only is NEHRP responsible for developing …