Natural Disasters

Major Earthquake Due to Hit Southern California, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 21, 2006   View Article

Get ready for the Big One.

About 300 years of pent-up stress in southern California is sufficient to trigger a catastrophic earthquake on the San Andreas Fault system, according to a new study.

Hurricane Plane Flies Into Storms to Sharpen Forecasts

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 12, 2006   View Article

High-altitude pilot David Wright took two passes over the eye of Hurricane Emily last July, and then caution took hold.

“The turbulence became pretty significant,” Wright said. “I decided the better part of valor was to fly in a box pattern the remainder of the night.”

Giant Rock Growing in Mt. St. Helens Crater

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 9, 2006   View Article

A massive fin-shaped slab of hot rock has recently been seen growing in the crater of Washington State’s Mount St. Helens.

The feature is the seventh such structure to rise in the volcano’s crater since it began slowly erupting in October 2004, say scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Cascade Volcano Observatory.

Clear skies following a long, cloudy, wet winter in the U.S. Pacific Northwest recently lifted the veil on this latest formation.

U.S. Not Ready for Fast Spreading Flu, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 3, 2006   View Article

Scientists have used a sophisticated computer model to predict how a deadly flu virus might spread through the United States, and how the disease might respond to efforts to contain it.

The results suggest that the U.S. is prepared to contain a virus with low transmissibility but perhaps not one that spreads more quickly.

Warming Oceans Are Fueling Stronger Hurricanes, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 16, 2006   View Article

Rising ocean surface temperatures are the primary factor fueling a 35- year trend of stronger, more intense hurricanes, scientists report in a new study.

The finding backs up the results of two controversial papers published last year that linked increasing hurricane intensity to rising sea-surface temperatures, said Judith Curry, an atmospheric scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Why Was South Asia Hit Hard by Major Quake

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 13, 2005   View Article

The magnitude 7.6 earthquake that shook a broad swath of South Asia on October 8 resulted from the same forces that give rise to the world’s tallest mountains, the Himalaya, experts say.

The Earth’s crust is broken up into a jigsaw puzzle of plates constantly on the move. Some collide, others drift apart. They all jostle along in fits and starts like uncomfortable strangers in a packed crowd.

Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 15, 2005   View Article

Warming ocean temperatures appear to be fueling stronger, more intense hurricanes around the world, a new study suggests.

The number of storms that reach Category Four and Five—the most powerful, damaging hurricanes—has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, the study finds. However, the frequency and duration of hurricanes overall have stayed about the same.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach