Media Watch

Yahoo News

Extreme rain heads for California’s burn scars, raising the risk of mudslides – this is what cascading climate disasters look like

Yahoo News (The Conversation) -
Amir AghaKouchak, UCI professor of civil & environmental engineering and Earth system science writes, “I study cascading hazards like this, in which consecutive events lead to human disasters. Studies show climate change is raising the risk of multiple compound disasters, and it’s clear that communities and government agencies aren’t prepared. … With compound and cascading events likely to become more common in a warming world, being able to prepare for and manage multiple hazards will be increasingly essential.” Read More
Orange County Register

Help wanted: More sand for south Orange County’s shrinking beaches

Orange County Register -
UC Irvine Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Brett Sanders said coastal communities are thinking more about new ways to keep sand on the beaches, an important buffer between waves and infrastructure. … As a region, we’ve prioritized development over shoreline protection. One of the consequences of how we’ve developed land and drainage systems, we no longer transport sand to the coast the way it once was.” Coastal towns should also be working together to find solutions, Sanders said. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here:] Read More
ITS International

Velodyne tech to improve UCI traffic

ITS International -
Velodyne Lidar solution is to be equipped at 25 intersections as part of a University of California Irvine (UCI) study to improve traffic and road safety. The Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity2 (HIMaC2) in the UCI Samueli School of Engineering will install Velodyne's Intelligent Infrastructure Solution at intersections in the University and the adjacent city of Irvine. The solution combines Velodyne’s Lidar sensors with artificial intelligence (AI) software to monitor traffic networks and public spaces. Read More

What Is “Clean Hydrogen”?

Slate -
Jack Brouwer, director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, where he conducts research on a broad range of hydrogen applications, told Grist that commercially available power plant technology can currently burn a blend of up to 30 percent hydrogen gas and 70 percent methane. … For Brouwer, blending green hydrogen into the natural gas system, whether for power plants or homes, is still very much worth doing — not so much for the greenhouse gas benefits, but to create a new market for solar and wind power. Read More
Orange County Register

Oil spill hints at broader threats to ocean health

Orange County Register -
“People have heard coral reefs are suffering, but they don’t know that the ecosystems in their own backyards are too,” said Kristen Davis, head of UC Irvine’s Coastal Dynamics Laboratory. … “Sea life is feeling the pressure of warming waters and sea-level rise, but we can’t see that,” Davis said. “If the oil spill can make people more aware of the other effects of fossil fuels, that would be helpful. This oil spill is just one of the threats.” Read More
The Weather Channel

Crews race to contain California oil spill

The Weather Channel -
Kristen Davis, UCI associate professor civil & environmental engineering and principal investigator, Coastal Dynamics Lab said, “The spill has a local effect, while that is a visible effect that we will be dealing with it for years, as far as wildlife and the cleanup, I also think it is important to realize that the effect of fossil fuels is much broader than the spill that we are seeing here today. And that we have a big challenge ahead of us as we go into the COP26 international climate talks in Glasgow next month. I hope that this spill is a wakeup call to get serious about getting off of fossil fuels.” Read More
IEEE Spectrum

Building An Alternative to GPS

IEEE Spectrum -
"There is an urgent need to find an alternative robust and accurate navigation system to GPS," says Zak Kassas, an associate professor [of engineering and ICS] at University of California, Irvine, and Director of US Department Transportation Center for Automated Vehicles Research with Multimodal AssurEd Navigation (CARMEN). "We are over-relying on these systems, despite their known limitations." Fortunately, Kassas and his colleagues have devised a novel substitute for GPS. Read More
Los Angeles Times

Newsletter: A look back at the week in Opinion

Los Angeles Times -
Southern California’s beaches are running out of sand. So we’re losing our majestic mountain forests and our beaches now? The difference with the disappearing sand is that so far, climate change isn’t the proximate cause, writes UC Irvine engineering professor Brett Sanders: “Local development and land use have altered natural processes that would have otherwise replenished the beaches. Sand on beaches is a lot like money in a bank account. It flows in and out, and the balance needs to stay in positive territory to avoid a calamity of problems.” L.A. Times [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to] Read More
Los Angeles Times

Coastal erosion in San Clemente threatens railroad tracks, pricey homes

Los Angeles Times -
After decades of development that destroyed countless acres of coastal marsh, Southern California’s environmental “bank account” is empty, said Brett Sanders, professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Irvine. … For Sanders, San Clemente is an ideal place for a project that rebuilds beaches and ultimately protects the railroad track and houses. But it will take quick action from regional leaders, he said. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to] Read More
Public Radio International

Avoiding water bankruptcy in the drought-troubled Southwest: What the US and Iran can learn from each other

Public Radio International -
Amir AghaKouchak, UCI professor of civil & environmental engineering and others write, “More than 7,000 miles away, Iran is grappling with water problems that are similar to the U.S. Southwest’s but more severe. … As environmental engineers and scientists … we’ve closely studied the water challenges in both drought-prone regions. We believe past mistakes in the U.S. and Iran offer important lessons for future plans in the U.S. Southwest and other regions increasingly experiencing drought and water shortages.” Read More