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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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Can animals predict the weather?

Can Fido predict an incoming tornado? If animals can predict the weather, do we stop trusting the weatherman and start visiting the zoo to get tomorrow's forecast?

How Clouds Work

Did bunnies just attack that sailboat, or was it a narwhal playing with a school of fish? Are you going crazy, or are you just watching the clouds?

How Storm Chasers Work

If a tornado was heading your way, you'd probably head for the hills. But for some people, it's just the beginning of a chase.

Lightning Pictures

Some of the most dramatic displays of nature can be found in the form of lightning bolts. This stunning image gallery showcases this fascinating phenomena.

What is it like in the eye of a tornado?

A tornado can turn a house into toothpicks, but when you think about it, it's really just a funnel of air. What's it like on the inside?

How Auroras Work

Auroras are stunning natural light shows that are visible only in certain parts of the world at certain times of the year. Where can you go to see one?

What if I Were Struck by Lightning?

Being struck by lightning is a little more complicated than a sudden collision with a flash of light from the sky, and not all strikes are equally lethal.

What if a wildfire came near my house?

Wildfires spread quickly consuming almost everything in their path -- including homes. What can you do if you see the inferno racing toward your home?

What if a plane landed in San Francisco at the same time there was a big earthquake?

San Francisco has a new airport that's supposed to stand up to the rigors of an earthquake. Does that mean that planes can land while a massive quake is shaking the city?

What if an Asteroid Hit Earth?

There are obvious craters on Earth (and the moon) that show us a long history of large objects hitting the planet. But what if one hit Earth today?

12 of the Most Destructive Earthquakes

Earthquakes and their resulting aftershocks can be devastatingly destructive. Earthquakes are caused when a fault in the Earth's crust slips, which releases energy waves in the ground. Find a list of 12 of the most destructive earthquakes in history.

15 Tornado Safety Tips

Tornadoes are dangerous things, so it's important for you and your family to be prepared in the event of one. The United States experiences more tornadoes than the rest of the world due to low-lying geography. See our list of 15 tornado safety tips.

10 Destructive Hurricanes in Recent Times

While close to 100 tropical storm systems develop each year, often only a handful become hurricanes. Between 80 and 100 of these storms form each year from June to November in the Caribbean. Find 10 destructive hurricanes in recent times.

How Acid Rain Works

Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power plants, cars and factories. Find out how acid rain is produced, how it affects natural and man-made objects and how governments aim to reduce it.

Can China control the weather?

As a dominant world power, there's not much that China doesn't affect or control outright these days, including the weather. How did the superpower produce flawless skies for the biggest party of the year?

How could it rain for 45 straight days?

For three years, ending in the spring of 2007, the state of Texas experienced a terrible drought. When a large storm system settled over the state late that spring, many Texans rejoiced. But then the rain continued. And continued. For 45 days, it didn't stop.

Mount St. Helens Erupts

The Mount St. Helens eruption resulted in almost 60 deaths. Learn more about the Mount St. Helens eruption, from how it happened to the aftereffects.

How Avalanches Work

Learn how avalanches form, how long you can stay alive while buried under an avalanche and what steps you can take to survive.

How the Tornado Intercept Vehicle Works

Tornado chasers generally stay about a mile away from the tornado itself -- but not IMAX cinematographer Sean Casey. He has built a Tornado Intercept Vehicle and hopes to withstand a direct hit. Check it out.

How Tsunamis Work

The wall of water that struck northern Japan on March 11 claimed more than nearly 16,000 lives. While the human and cultural extents of this natural disaster are difficult to grasp, we can explain the physical properties that led to it.

How Rainbows Work

Rainbows are one of nature's most beautiful effects. Have you ever wondered how the colors end up in seemingly perfect bands? And, what about double rainbows -- how does that happen? Find out how rain and sun can align to put color in the sky.

Why does the sky get dark at night?

Why does the sky get dark at night? Don't tell me it's just because the Earth rotates and the sun sets -- what I mean is, with all of its stars and other luminous bodies, why isn't the universe infinitely bright?

Are there more floods now than there used to be?

I read 'How Floods Work,' but I still have a question: Why are there so many more floods now? It seems like there are floods all the time, and it didn't used to be that way. Is it raining more?

How Floods Work

Flooding has claimed more lives than any other natural disaster. Find out how a gentle stream becomes a raging torrent.

What Is Relative Humidity and How Does it Affect How I Feel Outside?

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?

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