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Extreme Events and Cascading Hazards


Societal Challenge Communities across the U.S., particularly underserved communities, face enduring, compounding risks from extreme, high-impact weather, water, and climate events, which have become more severe and more frequent in recent decades. Overview In the context of a warming, changing climate, extreme weather, water, and climate events are becoming more common. Extreme high temperatures in the U.S. are projected to increase. The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events in most parts of the U.S. are projected to increase, and future droughts in most regions will likely be stronger and potentially last longer. The frequency, depth, and extent of tidal flooding are expected to continue to increase in the future, as is the more severe flooding associated with coastal storms, flooding, shoreline erosion, disruptions to commercial navigation and tourism. As the climate changes, extreme events are becoming more prevalent, and compound extreme events are leading to cascading hazards. Innovative ideas are needed to mitigate the growing impact of extreme events and cascading hazards on key sectors of the economy, including transportation, power generation, agriculture, recreation, and natural resource management and protection. Examples of appropriate research topic areas for applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to products and services that accomplish the following objectives: ● Help decision makers prepare for and/or adapt to extreme weather, water and climate events, including deviations in temperatures and precipitation patterns (e.g. extreme heat or cold, tornadoes, floods, coastal storms and hurricanes, marine heat waves) to inform decision making and protect life and property ● Facilitate understanding of risk for extreme weather, water and climate events for key sectors of the economy, including but not limited to transportation, power generation, agriculture, recreation, and natural resource management and protection and/or support increased resilience to likely climate impacts ● Support wildfire early detection, modeling, prediction, and monitoring of impacts, including on air quality, snowpack properties, and soil hydraulic behavior ● Support regional drought early warnings and forecasts, covering weather-to-climate timescales, as well as new methods for accurately capturing the full economic cost of drought on the agricultural sector and beyond ● Facilitate more equitable access to information about extreme weather, water and climate events ● Improve modeling and forecasting of urban heat island effects and the impact on air quality, particularly in underserved communities ● Support educators and other STEM outreach professionals to increase comprehension and use of relevant water, weather, and climate science concepts and education resources
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