EESA research addresses urgent global, national, and state of California needs. For example, EESA scientists are actively studying earthquakes and sea-level rise–both of concern to California and other coastal states–and bringing their expertise to bear on challenges troubling all of the American West, from drought to wildfire to water security.
Since 2010 alone, EESA researchers have applied some of the world’s most sophisticated numerical modeling tools developed at Berkeley Lab to helping plug the natural gas storage leak at Aliso Canyon and stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Deepwater Horizon Macondo well. EESA scientists are exploring the impact of the release of radioactive contaminants from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and have shown how climate change made Hurricanes Maria, Katrina, and Irma more intense.
Learn more about our work to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and extreme events below.
Deepwater Horizon – 2010
EESA scientists utilized system biology approaches to document the natural capacity of ocean microorganisms to attenuate oil released by the Macondo well blowout. Read more>>
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster – 2013
EESA scientists deployed advanced monitoring and modeling techniques in response to the disaster and continue to contribute to a predictive understanding of the long-term transport of radionuclides in soil and surface waters near Fukushima. Read more>>
Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Leak – 2015
EESA scientists contributed to plugging the massive methane leak at the Canyon storage facility and increased the safety of natural gas storage practices. They contributed to this report about the event. Read more>>
Hurricane Maria – 2018
In 2017, EESA scientists chose 15 tropical cyclones that have occurred over the last decade across the globe – including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans – and ran high-resolution climate simulations of those storms in different scenarios, varying factors such as air and ocean temperatures, humidity, and greenhouse gas concentrations. Read more here>> and here>>
Earthquake Preparedness – Ongoing
EESA researchers are developing models capable of simulating the impact a major earthquake would have on different locations along the Bay Area’s Hayward Fault, as well as on different types and sizes of buildings. Read more>> The team has also developed a sensor capable of measuring the drift between building stories, which is a key parameter for assessing earthquake demand in a building. Read more>>
Wildfire Resilience – Ongoing
EESA researchers are developing methods to analyze how wildfires impact water quality, and producing robust computer models that can reliably predict wildfires and their effects on the landscape across multiple time and space scales, from hillslopes to entire forests, and from hours to centuries. Read more>>