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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Even though Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2, the storm could still unleash an historic amount of rain.

By Sarah Gleim & John Donovan

Hurricane Hector is barreling toward the erupting volcano Kilauea. What could possibly be worse?

By John Donovan

The Carr fire in Northern California is currently the sixth-largest in the state's history. How did it get so out of control?

By John Donovan

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Or do we just stick with the five categories we already have?

By John Perritano

Scorching-high temps seem to be the norm this summer. So what does this kind of heat do to your body?

By Mark Mancini

A fire can burn for years, yes years, in a swamp. What's the deal?

By Mark Mancini

Both dry and over-saturated soil can contribute to flash flooding. Can anything be done to prevent them from becoming catastrophic?

By Mark Mancini

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Tsunamis are triggered by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on the ocean's floor. But other massive waves are caused by wind and can come on suddenly and without warning.

By Mark Mancini

The evidence is clear: Human activities — like the burning of fossil fuels — are the main driving force behind modern climate change.

By Mark Mancini

We hear about humidity in just about every weather report on the nightly news. There are several different ways meteorologists measure humidity, but relative humidity is the most common measurement. What is relative humidity, though?

By Nathan Chandler

To date 14 massive fissures have opened up near Kilauea, and the Big Island has been rocked by repeated earthquakes. Do these geological events foreshadow a massive volcanic eruption?

By Mark Mancini

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We may not be able to hear infrasound, but we sure can use it to detect tornadoes.

By Christopher Hassiotis

The mercury soared to over 122 degrees Fahrenheit in Nawkwabash, Pakistan. It could be the highest April temp ever recorded on the planet.

By Mark Mancini

Scientists across the globe attempt to forecast upcoming hurricane seasons in the Atlantic. But how — and are they right?

By John Donovan

Volcanic eruptions are loud. Very loud. But nobody's ever been able to capture the roar of the thunder they create. Until now.

By Mark Mancini

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The danger to the iconic statues is now greater than ever due to erosion and higher-energy wave action caused by climate change.

By Amanda Onion

Red snow? Yes. It totally exists. And while it might look cool, it's not exactly what you want to see from Mother Nature.

By Mark Mancini

California cannabis farmers could lose everything in the wildfires.

By John Perritano

New research digs into historic volcano fatalities to explore how, where and whom a volcano is most likely to kill.

By Jesslyn Shields

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In the mid-20th century, lightning strikes killed hundreds of Americans each year. Now, that number's dropped to only a few dozen. What's changed?

By Patrick J. Kiger

When a major storm is barreling down, the reasons why some people choose to shelter in place are complicated.

By John Perritano

Words matter when talking about those seeking shelter from the storm. What's the difference between hurricane evacuees and refugees?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Historic Hurricane Irma is being supercharged by the effects of climate change heating Earth's oceans.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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'You really can't describe to anybody what it's like to sit through a hurricane,' says Ruth Clark, who lived through Hurricanes Camille and Katrina.

By Dave Roos

Hurricanes are the strongest storms on the planet. How we categorize them has helped save lives.

By John Perritano