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The Hill

Researchers from MIT have discovered that integrating “Texas’ self-contained electrical grid with the broader national grid could prevent mass power outages,” reports Zack Budryk for The Hill. The researchers “modeled the effects of a bill introduced by Reps. Greg Casar (D-Texas) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that would connect the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to the rest of the country,” explains Budryk. “They determined that if such a law had been enacted ahead of the 2021 event, Winter Storm Uri, up to 80 percent of the millions of blackouts caused by the storm could have been averted.”

BBC Science Focus

BBC Science Focus reporter Alex Hughes spotlights a new study by MIT scientists that suggests more heavy snowfall and rain linked to climate change could increasingly contribute to earthquakes worldwide. “The researchers made these conclusions based on how weather patterns in northern Japan have seemingly contributed to a new 'swarm' of earthquakes,” writes Hughes, “a pattern of multiple, ongoing quakes – that is thought to have begun in 2020.”

NBC News

A new study conducted by MIT researchers suggests “heavy snowfall could be a factor in triggering swarms of earthquakes,” reports Evan Bush for NBC News. "Those big snowfall events seem to correlate well with the start of these big earthquake swarms," says Prof. William Frank. "We shouldn’t forget the climate itself can also play a role in changing the stress state at depth where earthquakes are happening." 

The New York Times

Prof. William Frank speaks with New York Times reporter Katrina Miller about the recent earthquake in the Northeast, and whether the event was caused by motion between the Earth’s tectonic plates. “It’s not quite as obvious, because there is no tectonic plate boundary that is active,” explains Frank. He noted that fault lines from past tectonic plate activity are located around the world, explaining that “some of these faults can still be storing stress and be closer to failure, and it can just require a little bit more to push it over the edge.”

Living on Earth

Prof. Kerry Emanuel speaks with Living on Earth host Jenni Doering about the future of extreme weather forecasting. “We have to do a much better job projecting long term risk, and how that's changing as the climate changes so that people can make intelligent decisions about where they're going to live, what they're going to build, and so on,” says Emanuel. “We need better models, we need better computers, so that we can resolve the atmosphere better, we need to make better measurements of the ocean below the surface, that's really tough to do.”

Salon

A new study by MIT scientists finds that Earth can self-regulate its temperature thanks to a stabilizing feedback mechanism that works over hundreds of thousands of years, reports Troy Farah for Salon. “The finding has big implications for our understanding of the past, but also how global heating is shaping the future of our home world,” writes Farah. “It even helps us better understand the evolution of planetary temperatures that can make the search for alien-inhabited exoplanets more fruitful.”

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, Beth Simone Noveck highlights RiskMap, an open-source platform developed by researchers from MIT’s Urban Risk Lab that allows users to gather and access information about disaster areas. Noveck writes that “RiskMap is a paradigmatic example of collective intelligence.”

HuffPost

Writing for HuffPost, Michael Windle and Tim Russell of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics say the U.S. can better serve survivors of disasters like Hurricane Maria by offering more permanent opportunities to relocate. “Survivors should be able to choose between programs geared to returning and rebuilding, and those providing permanent relocation services,” urge the researchers.

Radio Boston (WBUR)

Meghna Chakrabarti of WBUR’s Radio Boston speaks to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello ‘01 about the needs and the status of the island, plans to rebuild infrastructure, and how the new tax plan will affect Puerto Rico’s economy. Rossello was in Boston for the MIT Conference on the Resilient Reconstruction of the Caribbean. 

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter David Abel reports on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló's ’01 visit to MIT for the Conference for the Resilient Construction of the Caribbean. The governor shared his frustration with proposed federal tax policies while expressing optimism about working with MIT on solutions for climate-resilient reconstruction after this fall’s hurricanes. 

The Wall Street Journal

In an article for The Wall Street Journal, Christopher Matthews highlights a new study by Prof. Kerry Emanuel that shows Texas faces an increased risk of devastating rainfall due to climate change. The study demonstrated how greenhouse gas emissions, “help warm offshore waters—a phenomenon that can magnify the severity of storms and generate more rain, creating bigger floods.”

Bloomberg

Prof. Kerry Emanuel released a new paper that analyzes the impact of Hurricane Harvey, writes  Bloomberg’s Eric Roston. Emanuel found that “Harvey’s rainfall in Houston was ‘biblical’ in the sense that it likely occurred around once since the Old Testament was written.”

Los Angeles Times

A recent study from Prof. Kerry Emanuel suggests that, due to climate change, “massive hurricanes like Harvey are expected to strike Houston and Texas with much greater frequency in the future than they do now,” writes Deborah Netburn for the Los Angeles Times.

Associated Press

Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press reports on a new study by Prof. Kerry Emanuel, which finds that hurricanes with extreme rainfall could become common as a result of global warming. Borenstein explains that the odds of 20 inches of rain occurring over a large area of Texas is “6 in 100 and by 2081, those odds will be 18 in 100.”

USA Today

A study by Prof. Kerry Emanuel finds that climate change will triple the likelihood of storms with 20 inches of rainfall hitting Texas, writes Doyle Rice for USA Today. Using computer models of past, present, and future storms, Emanuel “hurried the study to help Houston officials think about what conditions they should consider when they rebuild,” Rice explains.