Environmental Science and Technology

  • Senior Policy Researcher Benjamin Preston, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    The Science of Climate Policy: Q&A with Benjamin Preston

    Benjamin Preston, a senior policy researcher and director of RAND's Community Health and Environmental Policy Program, specializes in climate risk and adaptation, disaster recovery, and resilience. In this Q&A, he discusses common misperceptions about climate change and how to decarbonize the U.S. economy.

    Oct 22, 2019

  • Tool

    Chesapeake Bay Watershed Climate Impacts Summary and Outlook: Summer 2019

    This web-based tool aims to inform Chesapeake Bay Watershed policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders on Summer 2019 climate, as well as projected future climate trends. Analysis of extreme heat data are shown on interactive figures.

    Sep 18, 2019

  • A man walks through floodwaters to survey damage from Hurricane Sandy in the New Dorp Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, New York, November 1, 2012, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Essay

    How Citizen Scientists Are Protecting Their Communities

    After Superstorm Sandy, residents of Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood cleaned up debris, pumped out basements, and teamed up with researchers to find out what was in the floodwater. They established safety protocols to help local businesses prevent their chemicals from escaping and wrote a guide to help other communities.

    Aug 29, 2019

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: September-October 2019

    This issue spotlights a wargame designed for young women interested in national security; ethics in scientific research, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning; and community citizen science.

    Aug 26, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Climate Vulnerability Mapping: A Systematic Review and Future Prospects

    This paper presents the results of a systematic review of 84 studies that map social vulnerability to climate impacts in order to identify common approaches to mapping, evaluate their strengths and limitations, and offer recommendations and future directions for the field.

    Aug 6, 2019

  • Flooded roads and landscapes in Houston, Texas following heavy rains, photo by Casey E Martin/Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    Ensemble-Based Flood Vulnerability Assessment for Probable Maximum Flood in a Changing Environment

    A high-resolution hydro-meteorologic model was used to develop probabilistic flood maps representing the response of indices of rainfall extremes, probable maximum precipitation (PMP) and probable maximum flood (PMF), to climate change.

    Jun 28, 2019

  • People working together to implement an idea, illustration by VectorMine/Adobe Stock

    Report

    The Potential of Community Citizen Science

    Community citizen science offers unique opportunities to engage the public in science and to enhance civic life. It is used for activities like monitoring ecosystem health and enhancing disaster preparedness. But there are challenges to translating citizen science research into action.

    Jun 18, 2019

  • Tool

    Chesapeake Bay Climate Impacts Summary and Outlook: Spring 2019: Seasonal Precipitation Analysis

    This web-based tool aims to inform Chesapeake Bay Watershed policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders on Spring 2019 climate, as well as historical and projected future climate trends. Analysis of seasonal precipitation data are shown.

    Jun 12, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Shift in Seasonal Climate Patterns Likely to Impact Residential Energy Consumption in the United States

    This paper presents an ensemble of climate simulations and empirical relationships between weather and household energy consumption to provide detailed estimates for potential climate-driven changes in the United States residential energy demand.

    Jun 4, 2019

  • Tool

    Chesapeake Bay Climate Impacts Summary and Outlook: Winter 2018-2019: Seasonal Precipitation Analysis

    This web-based tool aims to inform Chesapeake Bay Watershed policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders on historical and projected future climate trends. Analysis of seasonal precipitation data are displayed via interactive maps.

    Mar 25, 2019

  • A crew works to repair a road destroyed by flooding on May 31, 2018 in Ellicott City, Maryland. On May 27 Ellicott City experienced a devastating flood for the second time in two years.

    Tool

    Chesapeake Bay Climate Impacts Summary and Outlook for 2018: Extreme Precipitation Analysis

    This web-based tool aims to inform Chesapeake Bay Watershed policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders on historical and projected future climate trends. Analysis of seasonal and extreme precipitation data are displayed via interactive maps.

    Nov 27, 2018

  • 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

  • Women test water samples for a water pollution or conservation project outdoors

    Report

    Community Citizen Science Could Transform Science and Society

    Citizen science, public participation in research and scientific endeavors, isn't new. But community citizen science—where volunteers actively lead and conduct research, taking control and ownership—is on the rise. What promise does this phenomenon hold? And what are the risks?

    Sep 27, 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