The Natural Environment

Featured

As scientists learn more about how the environment responds to human activity, it has become an area of increasing concern to the global community. RAND research has helped inform policies and direct further studies of environmental issues, from building efficiency and natural resource management to risk management and decisionmaking in the face of deep scientific and economic uncertainties.

  • Floating ice and iceberg in Antarctic Peninsula

    Commentary

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

    Aug 4, 2017

    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.

  • City global warming concept art

    Content

    Water and Climate Resilience Center

    Dec 18, 2014

    The RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

Explore The Natural Environment

  • 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

  • The town of Sitka, Alaska, at dawn

    Announcement

    RAND Wins $2.1 Million Grant to Improve Landslide Prediction

    A RAND-led team that includes the University of Southern California, the University of Oregon, the Sitka Sound Science Center, and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska will design a novel landslide risk warning system for Sitka, Alaska, a coastal town of 9,000 near the landslide-prone slopes of the Tongass National Forest.

    Oct 10, 2018

  • Dissertation

    Ammonia Emissions from Industrial Hog Farming: Efficacy of Voluntary Control Strategies

    This dissertation explores the externality of ammonia emissions from the Iowa hog industry and investigates the possible impact of voluntary environmental policies to encourage ammonia control technology adoption.

    Oct 1, 2018

  • A Palestinian woman drags a cart loaded with water containers after filling them from a public tap in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, February 28, 2017

    Report

    How to Solve the Water Crisis in Gaza

    Gaza has long had water and sanitation challenges, but today it's in a state of emergency. The crisis could be resolved through greater investment in water and power infrastructure as well as more water or electricity purchases. But political complications and other barriers remain.

    Sep 26, 2018

  • Cows line up for feeding on Salisbury Plain in Southern England, May 20, 2012

    Commentary

    Ammonia – Why the Big Stink?

    Ammonia pollution harms human health and reduces the richness and diversity of the environment. As new policy frameworks are implemented in the UK, there is an opportunity to support farmers to make the changes necessary to reduce ammonia pollution.

    Sep 18, 2018

  • Report

    Impact of ammonia emissions from agriculture on biodiversity: An evidence synthesis

    Ammonia emissions in the UK have been rising since 2013, with the main source being agriculture. The impacts on biodiversity are significant and together with the costs to human health could be equivalent to over £700m per year in the UK by 2020.

    Sep 16, 2018

  • A house burns as firefighters battle a fast-moving wildfire that destroyed homes driven by strong wind and high temperatures forcing thousands of residents to evacuate in Goleta, California, July 7, 2018

    Journal Article

    How Wildfire Risks Impact California's Homeowners Insurance Market

    Wildfire poses considerable risk to Californians, and the associated increases in home insurance prices can cause financial hardship for families. It's critical to understand how the insurance market is performing with regard to wildfire risk and how climate change may affect this performance.

    Sep 5, 2018

  • Ducklings and a swan gather on a sandbank in the Jamaica Bay neighborhood of New York City

    Report

    Building Resilience in an Urban Coastal Environment

    What are the potential effects of climate change and sea level rise on flood risk, ecosystems, and water quality in New York City's Jamaica Bay? How can flood risk be reduced while also improving water quality, restoring habitat, and improving resilience to extreme weather events?

    Jul 31, 2018

  • Eco-friendly law and eco balance concept

    Commentary

    Suggestions to Help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

    The EPA's interest in including a systematic retrospective review element in new regulation has the potential to provide a transparent and well-structured method for assessing which decisions worked well and which didn't. If successful, it could serve as a role model for other regulatory agencies.

    Jul 19, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Fugitive Chemicals and Environmental Justice: A Model for Environmental Monitoring Following Climate-Related Disasters

    Waterfront communities can use this six-step framework to proactively develop an environmental monitoring program to prepare for, recover from, and respond to chemical leaks after weather disasters.

    Jul 3, 2018

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2018

    This issue spotlights RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative and RAND's evaluation of Housing for Health, a Los Angeles County program that has moved some of its most chronically homeless and vulnerable residents into permanent housing.

    Jul 2, 2018

  • Wetlands in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, with houses in the background.

    Journal Article

    Computational Modeling of the Jamaica Bay System

    For Jamaica Bay, and other coastal areas being studied for resilience capacity, we need not only models that are published and in the public domain, but mechanisms to generate scenarios that address resilience from various perspectives.

    Jun 28, 2018

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency Headquarters in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2016

    Commentary

    FEMA's Transformation

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency's strategic plan shows several shifts in U.S. disaster relief policy. Redirecting longer-term recovery operations to state and local authorities would allow FEMA to concentrate its assets on the catastrophic disasters it is uniquely designed to handle.

    Jun 8, 2018

  • Aerial view of Miami, Florida

    Report

    Adapting to a Changing Climate in Southeast Florida

    Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties are vulnerable to flooding and intrusion of saltwater into drinking water. These risks are driven by sea level rise, changes in precipitation, and urban development. How can the region adapt?

    Jun 6, 2018

  • Woman communicates with telemedicine doctor by digital tablet

    Journal Article

    Direct-to-Consumer Telemedicine Following Natural Disasters

    Direct-to-consumer telemedicine is a viable way to deliver medical care in the days after a natural disaster. But most people who use such services do so for routine matters, not disaster-caused illnesses.

    Jun 4, 2018

  • Ofo cycles lined up and ready for use at a railway station, Cambridge, UK, April 26, 2018

    Commentary

    Dockless Bikes Present Challenges, but Experience Shows They Can Work

    By encouraging more people to cycle, bike-sharing platforms could provide many potential benefits through reduced congestion, reduced air pollution, and health benefits. But there are also challenges, including pressures on existing cycling infrastructure and the potential for theft and vandalism.

    May 31, 2018

  • "Global connections" 3D rendering

    Report

    Discontinuities and Distractions: Rethinking Security for the Year 2040

    As part of its Security 2040 initiative, RAND convened a workshop of experts to discuss trends that could shape the world through the year 2040.

    Apr 27, 2018

  • News Release

    Direct-to-Consumer Telemedicine Can Deliver Routine Care to Affected People Following Natural Disasters

    Direct-to-consumer telemedicine is a viable way to deliver medical care in the days following a natural disaster, although most people who use such services do so for routine matters rather than disaster-caused illnesses.

    Apr 25, 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

  • Report

    U.S. Policy in Asia — Perspectives for the Future: Proceedings from a RAND Corporation Conference in Early 2017

    These conference proceedings explore the arenas of U.S.--Asia engagement, provide an understanding of the outcomes of past interaction, and make the case for the terms of future engagement.

    Apr 18, 2018