While the frequency of U.S. power outages has been unchanged in recent years, the total number of minutes that customers have been without electricity has increased every year, mainly due to extreme weather.
Global warming is worsening California's drought – already in its fourth year – by as much as 27 percent because higher temperatures are evaporating more moisture from plants and soil, according to the recently published study.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have developed a device that spots structural problems in aircraft structures, oil and gas pipelines and nuclear plants.
Of the 143 million Americans, 28 million people live in places with a "high potential" to experience shaking while 57 million people live in areas with a moderate chance of shaking. The difference from moderate to strong shaking depends on location of fault lines and frequency of seismic activity in an area.
The subcommittee will "identify the readiness of the department's lifeline sectors to meet the emerging cyber threat and provide recommendations for building cross-sector capabilities to rapidly restore critical functions and services following a signficant cyber event," according to a Federal Register notice.
Such a strategy could help identify, prioritize and guide future funding. But without it, GAO said it increases the risk that the government and its partners will see "lower returns on investments or lost opportunities to strengthen key critical infrastructure and lifelines."
The collaboration will entail continued "development of scientific algorithms to rapidly detect potentially damaging earthquakes, more thoroughly test the system and improve its performance."
House lawmakers this week grilled the new head of the Transportation Security Administration, an agency beset with problems such as serious screening and security lapses at airport checkpoints, low morale, and faulty equipment, among other challenges. But they also called Peter Neffenger a "breath of fresh air."
Climate change is a security risk and will exacerbate poverty, environmental degradation, social tensions, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions, threatening the stability of several countries, according to the Defense Department.
Two billion dollars would be required to protect the electric grid from threats including naturally occurring EMPs, radio-frequency weapons, cyber bugs and hacking, physical sabotage and severe weather, and $10 billion to $20 billion would be needed to protect "all critical infrastructures."