Forces of Nature

We see the destruction that the Earth can unleash in the news on a regular basis. Here you can learn about hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other forces of nature.

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Yes, Wind Can Blow You Away If It's the Right Speed

We've all seen shots of meteorologists fighting gale-force winds to report on storms. So just how high can the winds get before the reporters are knocked off their feet?

Earth's Early Atmosphere Was Briefly a Methane Haze

Earth's atmosphere used to be full of toxic hydrogen, but a brief period of methane smog cleared the way for valuable oxygen to set up shop.

Green Fireball Lights Up Midwestern Night Skies

Midwestern night owls got a meteoric surprise this week.

NASA Investigates Cosmic Ray Impact on High-altitude Travelers

The atmosphere protects those of us here on land from cosmic radiation. So what about those who spend time above the clouds?

Why the Inside of a Tornado Gets Super Cold, Leaves You Gasping for Air

Researchers from Montreal's Concordia University have figured out why the air inside a tornado vortex is cooler and less dense than the surrounding air.

Is a Double Hurricane Something You Should Start Freaking Out About?

What happens when two unpredictable storms show up to dance? And what about when one finally heads out to sea — then abruptly turns inland again for a one-two punch?

Weather Bombs Are Spectacularly Destructive

Weather bombs have produced some of the most destructive storms on record. So what is one exactly?

How a Single Lightning Strike Instantly Killed Hundreds of Reindeer

Herd animals stick together, but when there's a lightning storm, there may not be safety in numbers.

Could Humans Force a Volcanic Eruption?

It's every evil mad scientist's dream. Could it ever be a reality?

China's Great Flood May No Longer Be Just a Myth

According to Chinese mythology, a great flood once swept the land. Now geologists have found reason to believe that the legendary catastrophe was real.

200 Years Ago, We Had a Year Without a Summer

More than two centuries ago, the biggest volcanic explosion in human history occurred. And it had far-reaching effects.

Saguaro Cacti Thrive When the World's Massive Volcanoes Erupt, Study Finds

New research links massive historic volcanic eruptions in Asia to a baby boom generation of the iconic Sonoran Desert cactus.

10 Times Humanity Fought Against Nature (and Won)

Trying to wrangle Mother Nature has successfully saved millions of lives, even if, at other times, it's quite literally blown up in our faces.

You Haven't Seen Lightning Until You've Seen This Slow-motion Lightning

Florida Tech filmed lightning strikes with powerful cameras that show the strikes almost 30 times slower than real life.

Tiny Louisiana Community Is Rapidly Vanishing Due to Rising Seas

Once 5 miles wide, the Isle de Jean Charles has shrunk to be a spit of land barely a quarter mile wide. Soon it will no longer exist.

Evidence Two Ancient Tsunamis Reshaped Mars Points to Potential for Life

Billions of years ago, asteroid strikes caused mega-tsunamis made up of liquid water and frozen ice, scarring the red planet forever, according to new findings.

How El Nino Works

El Nino is anything but child's play when it comes to affecting the globe's weather — and, in turn, our economies, health and safety.

The Aurora as Seen From Space Is Prettier Than You Ever Imagined

Just because astronauts are in space doesn't mean they can't use Twitter. These images of the Northern Lights were shot by International Space Station crewmembers.

10 Times It Has Rained Something Other Than Water

Frogs! Fish! Birds! A surprising number of things have rained down from the sky besides water. But how?

'Fire Rainbows' and 'Sun Dogs': Weird Weather in the Smartphone Age

Smartphone cameras enable us to take striking pictures of strange atmospheric phenomena—though we don’t always know what we’re seeing.

Does thunder in the winter mean snow is coming?

Thunder in the winter is a pretty cool phenomenon. It's unexpected, plus some say when you hear it, snow will arrive within seven days. If you hear thunder during the winter, should you get your snow shovel ready?

How rare are double rainbows?

A double rainbow, man! Just the sight of one can send us babbling into happiness. And why not? Rainbows are beautiful. And two rainbows at the same time? Even better. But just how rare are these colorful arcs?

Does lightning really never strike the same spot twice?

You've always heard that lightning never strikes the same spot twice. So if that tree stump in the yard was struck during a storm, why not just go sit there during the next storm? You're safe, right? You might want to rethink that.

Should You Get in Your Bathtub During a Tornado?

Your bathtub is great for taking a soak, giving the kids a bath, or even washing the dog. But can it protect you during a tornado?

Should You Open Your Windows During a Tornado?

There's a tornado coming! What do you do first? Grab your valuables? Seek shelter? Panic? Open the windows? Wait, what? Some say opening the windows in your house makes a tornado cause less damage. Read on to find out the truth.


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