Pan-European wildfire risk assessment
Published: 01.08.2022

Wildfires may result in long-lasting impacts to social, environmental, and economic systems. In a context of changing climate, human activity, and extreme events becoming more frequent, it is crucial to identify spatially the risks posed by wildland fires, to foster better fire management policy tools, and develop mitigation strategies accordingly. However, given the complexity of the problem, scope and methods for wildfire risk assessment (WRA) vary widely among countries leading to different regional/national approaches not always comparable. These uneven approaches understandably focus...

UN General Assembly declares access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right
Published: 29.07.2022

The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all. 

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed...

Exploring the integration of local and scientific knowledge in early warning systems for disaster risk reduction
Published: 13.07.2022

The occurrence and intensity of some natural hazards (e.g. hydro-meteorological) increase due to climate change, with growing exposure and socio-economic vulnerability, leading to mounting risks. In response, Disaster Risk Reduction policy and practice emphasize people-centred Early Warning Systems (EWS). Global policies stress the need for including local knowledge and increasing the literature on integrating local and scientific knowledge for EWS. In this paper, we present a review to understand and outline how local and scientific knowledge integration is framed in...

More Frequent European Heat Waves Linked to Changes in Jet Stream
Published: 08.07.2022

Heat waves over Europe have increased three to four times faster than in the rest of the northern mid-latitudes, including the United States and Canada. Why? In a new study, an international team of scientists has shown the increase is linked to changes in the jet stream, the fast air current that flows west to east about 10 kilometers...

Climate change: wildfire risk has grown nearly everywhere – but we can still influence where and how fires strike
Published: 07.07.2022

Humans have raised CO₂ levels in the atmosphere to 50% above what they were before the industrial revolution. As a result, the world has already warmed by 1.1°C over the past century and reports indicate that it could reach 2.7°C of warming by the end of this century.

Bouts of...

What’s causing Sydney’s monster flood crisis – and 3 ways to stop it from happening again
Published: 03.07.2022

Again, thousands of residents in Western Sydney face a life-threatening flood disaster. At the time of writing, evacuation orders spanned southwest and northwest Sydney and residents of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley were being warned the crisis was escalating.

It’s just over a year since the region’s long-suffering residents lived through ...