Natural Disasters

Unpredictable forces of nature like tornadoes and hurricanes can have a devastating impact on humans and our environment. Learn how natural disasters work and how science aims to better predict them.


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How Wildfires Work

The raging wildfires in southern California have claimed lives and destroyed hundreds of homes. Learn how wildfires start and spread, and find out what firefighters do to battle the blaze.

Is it true that scientists are predicting a really big earthquake will sink western California?

Is it true that scientists are predicting a really big earthquake will sink western California into the ocean, or break it off from the continent?

How Earthquakes Work

An earthquake is one of the most terrifying phenomena that nature can dish up. We generally think of the ground we stand on as "rock-solid" and completely stable. An earthquake can shatter that perception instantly, and often with extreme violence.

How Volcanoes Work

Volcanoes are some of nature's most awe-inspiring displays, with everything from exploding mountaintops to rivers of lava. Learn how all the different types of volcanoes work.

How Hurricanes Work

How often have you watched a weather forecaster point to a spiral-shaped cloudy mass with a sense of dread and fascination? What fuels these ferocious storms?

Why do hurricanes seem to move as if they have a mind of their own, and why do they follow such peculiar tracks?

Hurricanes seem to have a mind of their own as they track across the Atlantic Ocean. While they all follow the same general directions, local weather patterns effect where they ultimately land. Find out why hurricanes move the way they do.

How Lightning Works

Lightning is an incredible force of nature. And like many natural phenomena, lightning is not always what it seems. Go behind the mystery and learn what's really going on when lightning strikes.