Natural Disasters

Mass Extinctions Due to Sea Level Changes, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 17, 2008   View Article

The rise and fall of the seas may have a more lethal toll on Earth’s life than asteroids and supervolcanoes, according to a new study.

Over the past 540 million years, every increase in the rate of extinctions—including the five so-called mass extinctions—has been linked to environmental changes wrought by changing sea levels, the study says.

Nine killer earthquakes

Publication:   Date: April 25, 2008   View Article

Thousands of earthquakes happen every day around the world. Most are hardly felt, if at all. But sometimes pieces of Earth’s crust suddenly slip past each other in a massive release of pent-up stress. The jolted Earth rumbles, buildings collapse, streets buckle, and thousands of people die. These movements are nature’s most violent act and take a grim toll on human life and infrastructure. Learn about nine of the deadliest.

Epic Flood Triggered Ancient “Big Chill,” Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 6, 2007   View Article

An epic gush of fresh water into the North Atlantic slowed a deep ocean current and triggered a century-long chill in Europe and North America some 8,200 years ago, according to a new study.

The finding confirms scenarios suggested by previous models of the ancient climate and should raise confidence in predictions made about how the oceans will respond to Greenland’s rapidly melting glaciers, an outside expert said.

Bay of Bengal Faces Major Tsunami Threat, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 5, 2007   View Article

Millions of people along the coasts of Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, and India may be at risk of suffering a catastrophic tsunami-generating earthquake, according to a new study.

The northern Bay of Bengal could be pummeled by a temblor as massive as the one that sent devastating tsunamis into Indonesia and other Indian Ocean countries in December 2004, the research suggests.

Hurricanes Have Doubled Due to Global Warming, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 30, 2007   View Article

The number of Atlantic hurricanes that form each year has doubled over the past century and global warming is largely to blame, according a new study.

The increase occurred in two major steps of about 50 percent each, one in the 1930s and the second since 1995.

Volcanic Activity Triggered Deadly Prehistoric Warming

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 26, 2007   View Article

The prehistoric bout of volcanic activity that slowly ripped Greenland from Europe triggered a deadly global warming event, a new study says.

The event, which happened about 55 million years ago, has similarities to today’s climate changes, which have been linked to human generation of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

Orangutans Displaced, Killed by Indonesian Forest Fires

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 17, 2006   View Article

Intentionally lit forest fires on the island of Borneo are killing Southeast Asia’s endangered orangutans, conservationists warn.

The fires are lit annually to clear land for oil palm plantations and agricultural fields. Many of the blazes quickly rage out of control.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach