Tag Archives: climate change

Seven 2012 Science Videos from the National Academies

In 2012, the National Academies produced a number of videos based on reports released this past year. Watch the seven videos below, and please share these great resources for teaching and communicating.

Science Debate 2012: Climate Change

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Climate Change:

The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

America's Climate Choices

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America’s Climate Choices144 pages | Paperback | Price: $26.95Climate change is occurring. It is very likely caused by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems. And these emissions continue to increase, which will result in further… [more]
Advancing the Science of Climate Change

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Advancing the Science of Climate Change528 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the… [more]
Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

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Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change348 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95Global climate change is one of America’s most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity–especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock production, waste disposal, and land use change–is affecting global average… [more]
Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

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Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change276 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95Climate change, driven by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, poses serious, wide-ranging threats to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world. The largest overall source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burning… [more]
Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

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Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years160 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00In response to a request from Congress, Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years assesses the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for Earth during approximately the last 2,000 years and the… [more]

Happy National Teacher’s Day!

To celebrate National Education Week, we created a list of recommended books and resources to teach climate change. Check out these top titles from NAP, climate change videos, and information from the Division on Earth and Life Studies. Continue reading

Sharing Water: Making Decisions About Sustainable Water Management

Water: we need it every day, and use it in countless ways. As the world enters the second decade of the 21st century, the human community finds itself searching for new paradigms for water supply and management in response to expanding populations, sprawling development, climate change, and the limits of existing conventional supplies.

The following websites, video, and NAP reports present the issues and problems we face to make water available both now and in the future. Continue reading

Scientific Opportunities in Antarctica: Risks and Benefits of Exploration

Exploration of Antarctica has been in the news recently, as a rescue effort is underway to reach a Russian research vessel trapped in ice. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on Earth. While it is challenging to live and work in this extreme environment, this region offers many opportunities for scientific research. The Polar Research Board of the National Research Council has produced a number of reports about exploration of this region. These books discuss environmental and scientific protection standards needed to responsibly explore this unique environment and suggest important areas of research for the United States to achieve success for the next generation of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. All are free to download.

Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments

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Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments: Environmental and Scientific Stewardship162 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.42Antarctica is renowned for its extreme cold; yet surprisingly, radar measurements have revealed a vast network of lakes, rivers, and streams several kilometers beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Sealed from Earth’s atmosphere for millions of years, they may… [more]

Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

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Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean230 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean remains one of the world’s last frontiers. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on… [more]

Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems

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Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Summary of a Workshop86 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90The polar regions are experiencing rapid changes in climate. These changes are causing observable ecological impacts of various types and degrees of severity at all ecosystem levels, including society. Even larger changes and more significant impacts are… [more]

Antarctica

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Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World164 pages | Hardcover | Price: $34.20Antarctica is the center from which all surrounding continental bodies separated millions of years ago. Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World, reinforces the importance of continual changes in the country’s history and the impact of these… [more]

Frontiers in Polar Biology in the Genomics Era

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Frontiers in Polar Biology in the Genomics Era186 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10As we enter the twenty-first century, the polar biological sciences stand well poised to address numerous important issues, many of which were unrecognized as little as 10 years ago. From the effects of global warming on polar organisms to the potential for life… [more]

Take 5: Top Books on Climate Change

Got scientists and engineers on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

America's Climate Choices

America’s Climate Choices

Climate change is occurring. It is very likely caused by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems. And these emissions continue to increase, which will result in further…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets

Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
Details

Understanding Earth's Deep Past

Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in…
Details

Take 5 for Summer Reading

So many books, so little time! Let us help you narrow down the choices with our top five picks for your summer reading list. Buy one or more of the titles below and use discount code ES2011 to save 25%.

America's Climate Choices
Paperback
$29.95 $22.46
1x1-Spacer America’s Climate Choices

America’s Climate Choices makes the case that the environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks posed by climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action now to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare for adapting to its impacts…Read More

Ocean Acidification
Paperback
$32.00 $24.00
1x1-Spacer Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Ocean Acidification reviews the current knowledge on ocean acidification and considers the impact on ecosystems and society…Read More

Surrounded by Science
Paperback
$24.95 $18.71
1x1-Spacer Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments

Surrounded by Science makes valuable research about informal science learning accessible to those who are interested in ensuring that people of all ages, from different backgrounds and cultures, have a positive learning experience in environments such as museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens…Read More

Enhancing Food Safety
Paperback
$71.00 $53.25
1x1-Spacer Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration

Recent outbreaks of illnesses traced to contaminated food illustrate the holes that exist in the system for monitoring problems and preventing foodborne diseases. Enhancing Food Safety explores the development and implementation of a stronger, more effective food safety system built on a risk-based approach to food safety management…Read More

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Paperback
$29.00 $21.75
1x1-Spacer Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity offers healthy eating and physical activity strategies for local, state, and federal governments to consider…Read More

Climate Change Resources

Untitled Document

A report released today from the National Research Council reiterates the pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts. Read about the America’s Climate Choices series below.

1x1-Spacer America’s Climate Choices, which builds on the four previous America’s Climate Choices panel reports, reaffirms that the preponderance of scientific evidence points to human activities as the most likely cause for most of the global warming that has occurred during the last several decades. Furthermore, the risk of dangerous climate change impacts is growing with every ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

America’s Climate Choices makes the case for implementing strong federal policies that establish coherent national goals and incentives, and that promote strong U.S. engagement in international-level response efforts.

America’s Climate Choices Panel Reports:

Advancing the Science of Climate Change
Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change
Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change
Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Understanding Earth's Deep Past
Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future
Prepublication Available

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets
Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock Earth…
Details

Ocean Acidification
Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
Details

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts
Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years
Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

In response to a request from Congress, Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years assesses the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for Earth during approximately the last 2,000 years and the…
Details

Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability
Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, among other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited…
Details

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution
Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in…
Details

Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events
Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary

Long before the “germ theory” of disease was described, late in the nineteenth century, humans knew that climatic conditions influence the appearance and spread of epidemic diseases. Ancient notions about the effects of weather and climate on disease remain…
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Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Methods and Preliminary Results

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) coordinates the efforts of 13 federal agencies to understand why climate is changing, to improve predictions about how it will change in the future, and to use that information to assess impacts on human systems…
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For Earth Day, Resources to Communicate the Science of Climate Change

The impacts of human activities—particularly emissions of carbon dioxide, but also including other greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and population growth—are so vast that they will largely control the future of the Earth’s climate system. This future could bring a relatively mild change in climate, or it could deliver an extreme change from today’s climate to entirely different climate conditions that will last many thousands of years. The eventual course of the climate system over millennia will be determined largely by the actions taken this century by governments, businesses, and individuals around the world.

Earth and its residents are entering a new geological epoch—the Anthropocene—in which human activities are a primary force affecting climate. Our actions this century to reduce or increase greenhouse gas emissions will determine whether the Anthropocene is a relatively mild event or a severe transition extending over many thousands of years.

Society is beginning to make important choices regarding future greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia considers the projected climate changes and impacts that would occur if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were stabilized at particular concentration levels. While this book does not recommend or justify any particular stabilization target, it does provide important scientific insights about the relationships among emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, and impacts.

The books from the America’s Climate Choices series address the serious and sweeping issues associated with global climate change, including the science and technology challenges involved, and provide advice on actions and strategies the nation can take to respond. Advancing the Science of Climate Change, Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change, and Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change are an authoritative set of analyses to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation.

These books and others from the National Research Council are available to read online at no charge. The catalog pages for these books contain links to videos and other materials that are great teacher resources. If you teach at the undergraduate or graduate level, visit www.nap.edu/contact.html to request an examination copy of these or any other titles that you feel would be appropriate to use as a textbook for a course.

Climate Stabilization Targets Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

 

Advancing the Science of Climate Change Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the…
Details

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

Climate change, driven by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, poses serious, wide-ranging threats to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world. The largest overall source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burning…
Details

 

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Global climate change is one of America’s most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity–especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock production, waste disposal, and land use change–is affecting global average…
Details

 

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that falls as…
Details

 

Ocean Acidification Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
Details

 

National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces

In response to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the National Research Council appointed a committee operating under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board to study the national security implications of climate change for U.S. naval forces. In conducting…
Details

Understanding Earth's Deep Past Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

 

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

 

Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop

Models are fundamental for estimating the possible costs and effectiveness of different policies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a wide array of models to perform such analysis, differing in the level of technological detail, treatment…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

 

Global Sources of Local Pollution Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent….
Details

 

Science and Disaster Response: Tools to Predict, Prevent, Prepare and Recover

Recent experiences with natural and human-caused disasters here and elsewhere in the world remind us that extreme weather events and disasters can exceed our control and the affected communities’ ability to recover on their own.

Some of these devastating effects on communities are the result of human decisions—for instance, land use and building codes, engineering of critical infrastructure, and many other social decisions and actions. Resilience to disasters is built at the community level. No community is immune to disasters, and no community is an island unto itself. The emerging role of critical infrastructure, just-in-time manufacturing, and the globalization of the economy means that all individuals and communities are interdependent. In the United States, the public sector represents just ten percent of the workforce. The other ninety percent resides in the private sector—ranging from small, individually owned businesses to national and global enterprises—and in a range of nongovernmental bodies and faith-based organizations. Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration develops a conceptual model for private–public collaboration and presents a series of guidelines intended for those who wish to create an environment supportive of community-level disaster resilience.

Predicting these catastrophes better is another way to mitigate the overwhelming devastation to communities. Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences looks at ways that the geographical sciences can best contribute to science and society in the next decade through research initiatives aimed at advancing understanding of major issues facing Earth in the early 21st century. Research on shifts in climate, soil erosion, habitat loss, and water degradation and understanding the human role in these changes is vital to foreseeing the magnitude and timing of future disaster events.

These books and others on the subject of disaster preparation and response, scientific research, and application of technologies can guide policy makers and inform the public.

Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused over 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from natural and…
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Understanding the Changing Planet Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences

From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth’s surface. With Earth’s population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more…
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Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that falls as…
Details

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

This book presents a summary of the Workshop on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Current Knowledge and Research Gaps, held April 13 and 14, 2010, in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the National Research Council’s Committee on…
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Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal…
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Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: Workshop Summary

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is the identification of the relationships and attributes of members, key actors, and groups that social networks comprise. The National Research Council, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, held a two-day…
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Disaster Risk Management in an Age of Climate Change Disaster Risk Management in an Age of Climate Change: A Summary of the April 3, 2008 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable

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Recovering From Disaster Recovering From Disaster: A Summary of the October 17, 2007 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable

Disaster recovery is a complex and challenging process that involves all sectors of a community as well as outside interests. In many cases, it is not even clear if and when recovery has been achieved because of varying stakeholder goals for the community, for…
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Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises

Worldwide, millions of people are displaced annually because of natural or industrial disasters or social upheaval. Reliable data on the numbers, characteristics, and locations of these populations can bolster humanitarian relief efforts and recovery programs. …
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Improving Disaster Management Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and…
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