Earth Sciences

  • Men sleep on a temporary shade built over a drain next to a slum on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015

    Commentary

    Mitigating India's Climate-Change Misery

    Despite years of dire forecasts, the international community has been unable to halt the steady climb in global temperatures, and it is the world's poorest who are paying the heaviest toll. As heat-related risks intensify, those living on the margins—in India and elsewhere—will need help to cope effectively.

    Oct 11, 2018

  • A man selling air coolers rests at a market on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India May 4, 2017

    Commentary

    Staying Cool as the Globe Warms

    Studies suggest that the heat of the future will exceed humans' capacity to cope. But taking advantage of smart technology, inexpensive traditional methods of cooling that require little energy use, and innovative energy-efficient technologies could provide a sustainable path forward in heat-challenged regions.

    Apr 23, 2018

  • A view of Earth from outer space

    Report

    Is Climate Restoration an Appropriate Policy Goal?

    Climate restoration seeks to return atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to preindustrial levels within one to two generations. Is this a suitable goal for humanity's response to climate change?

    Apr 6, 2018

  • A digital weather map

    Journal Article

    The Not-So-Marginal Value of Weather Warning Systems

    This paper uses conditional variation in the initial broadcast dates of NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) transmitters to produce cross-sectional and fixed effects estimates of the causal impact of expanding the NWR transmitter network.

    Jan 4, 2018

  • Laborers work at a road construction site in Kolkata, India, February 27, 2017

    Commentary

    How Hot Is Too Hot? Rising Temperatures and the Workplace

    Climate change is here. Future extreme heat waves are a given and will likely grow in intensity, geographic reach, and duration. Plans must be made now to ensure survival of the poorest, to protect outdoor workers, and to adapt economic planning to what is increasingly becoming a hotter planet.

    Nov 16, 2017

  • Research Brief

    Mapping Vulnerability to Heat Waves in India

    Using district-level data on demographic, social, economic, health, and environmental factors, RAND researchers created the first-ever tool for measuring and mapping India's population's vulnerability to heat waves: the Heat Vulnerability Index.

    Sep 15, 2017

  • Floating ice and iceberg in Antarctic Peninsula

    Commentary

    When It Comes to Climate, Look for Vulnerabilities in Policy, Not Science

    Federal policymakers have picked up on the concept of red teaming — actively seeking out one's own vulnerabilities. While red teaming may not make sense for climate science, it does offer great benefits when weighing climate policy options.

    Aug 4, 2017

  • Journal Article

    Advancing Alternative Analysis: Integration of Decision Science

    Incorporating decision science into alternatives analysis would help companies and regulators to select alternatives to environmentally harmful ingredients.

    Aug 1, 2017

  • A mother and her child walk along the Ganges river during a dust storm on a hot summer day in Allahabad, India, June 9, 2015

    Commentary

    Where Are India's Heat Hotspots?

    Poverty, poor sanitation, a precarious water and electricity supply, and limited access to health care make India vulnerable to heat waves. Rural and urban districts could improve their preparedness by developing and targeting local adaptation strategies.

    May 17, 2017

  • An artist's rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration between Earth and the moon

    Commentary

    Mining the Moon for Rocket Fuel to Get Us to Mars

    Students from around the world participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.

    May 16, 2017

  • Journal Article

    Heat Wave Vulnerability Mapping for India

    Indexing relative variation in heat-related vulnerability across all of India can help planners, policy makers, and disaster mitigation experts target climate adaptation efforts.

    Apr 4, 2017

  • Dissertation

    Directed International Technological Change and Climate Policy: New Methods for Identifying Robust Policies Under Conditions of Deep Uncertainty

    Explores new methods to the study of international technological change and climate policy providing useful insights that can be used for designing a robust architecture of international technological cooperation for climate change mitigation.

    Mar 11, 2016

  • A lake surrounded by trees

    Journal Article

    An Open Source Framework for Many-Objective Robust Decision Making

    This study introduces a new open source software framework to support bottom-up environmental systems planning under deep uncertainty with a focus on many-objective robust decision making (MORDM), called OpenMORDM.

    Nov 6, 2015

  • A computer-generated image of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked, 95% of which is orbital debris

    Commentary

    Debris Poses Increased Threat to Exploration

    Every satellite launch and maneuver is carefully coordinated because some orbits are strewn with the space-based equivalent of blown tires, abandoned vehicles, loose gravel and, of course, other traffic. Earth's orbit is littered with hundreds of thousands of debris objects.

    May 16, 2014

  • woman carrying umbrella looking up at sky

    Commentary

    Weather Forecasts, and Our Trust in Them, Need to Improve

    When scientists predict extreme weather that never materializes, lay people tend to wonder what went wrong. This is a natural tendency that is not tied to a failure of the science, but rather to differences in the way scientists and lay people view predictions about extreme events.

    Oct 8, 2013

  • A mother on Staten Island straps a protective mask onto her baby after Hurricane Sandy

    Commentary

    Removing Road Blocks to Climate Change Adaptation Planning

    Despite increasing interest and investments in climate adaptation science, the implementation of adaptation plans through institutional policies or other actions designed to reduce health vulnerabilities has been slow. Institutionalized assumptions are an important roadblock.

    Oct 3, 2013

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    Journal Article

    Using Scenario Elicitation Methodology to Map Possible Future Challenges to Mitigation and Adaptation

    A new set of scenarios, referred to as Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs), examines challenges to mitigation and challenges to adaptation. Developing SSPs with a "backwards" approach could help inform the development of SSPs to ensure the storylines focus on the driving forces most relevant to distinguishing between the SSPs.

    Sep 1, 2013

  • climate change visualization

    Journal Article

    Managing Risk with Climate Vulnerability Science

    Climate information alone cannot be sufficient for anticipating and reducing climate impacts.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • Report

    The Industrial Base for Carbon Dioxide Storage: Status and Prospects

    If policies aimed at large reductions of carbon dioxide emissions are enacted, more carbon capture and storage will be needed. RAND researchers explored the ability of the industrial base to support the expansion of carbon storage.

    Mar 18, 2013

  • space

    Commentary

    Satellite Collision Is a Reminder of Challenges Posed by Space Debris

    Solving the problem of space debris isn't going to be easy because, like spilled petroleum products, debris can spend years lurking in an environment that is foreign to most people's daily lives, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Mar 15, 2013

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