Deflection could be our best bet if an asteroid is headed towards Earth
August 10, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Getting this close to a bubbling cauldron of lava is not just dangerous; it's stupid enough that even other volcanologists will yell at you
July 28, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
It's Predator Week here at the blog. What's your favorite predator, either existing or extinct?
July 18, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Despite the heat waves across the country, no one is screaming "climate change is real" because of them. Why?
July 14, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Iceland is pretty much the least habitable of all the places that people have inhabited. But visiting it is like hiking through a geology textbook
July 07, 2011 | By Laura Helmuth
The first tropical storm of 2011 is a reminder to prepare for potential disasters
June 29, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
A group of Italian scientists may go to trial for allegedly playing down the risk of the quake that struck the Abruzzo region of Italy in April 2009
June 16, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
What scientists are learning from "the best recorded earthquake ever" could help prepare for future ones
May 23, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
The Mississippi River doesn't like to stay where it is, but then most rivers prefer to meander, expanding beyond their banks on occasion, at other times forging new paths across the landscape. This isn't a problem unless you've built cities and towns and farms up and down its banks, as we've done. ...
May 13, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Last week's devastating tornadoes have left indelible marks on not only the lives of people throughout the South, but also the Earth itself. This image was acquired by NASA's Aqua satellite on April 27 and shows the tracks of three tornadoes near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.The tracks are pale brown trails...
May 06, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Recently discovered photographs depict the aftermath of the devastating California earthquake in a new light
May 2011 | By Arcynta Ali Childs
The powerful quake and ensuing tsunami that struck Yokohama and Tokyo traumatized a nation and unleashed historic consequences
May 2011 | By Joshua Hammer
Decades of research have made these storms more predictable, giving people more time to find shelter, but we're sadly still vulnerable
April 28, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
The geysers of Yellowstone are a reminder of the potential danger that lies below---a supervolcano that last erupted some 70,000 years ago. The Yellowstone region sits on a volcanic hotspot, similar to the one that creates the Hawaiian islands. That hotspot first pushed through the Earth's surface ...
April 15, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Until this weekend, you were more likely to see the term "meltdown" in a story about Charlie Sheen than just about anywhere else. But with the earthquake and tsunami striking Japan late last week and setting off crisis situations at several nuclear reactors, the term is now spread across the headli...
March 15, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
A magnitude-6.3 earthquake shook Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday, collapsing buildings, triggering landslides and flooding, and killing dozens of people. A more powerful magnitude-7.1 quake rattled the city last September but didn't cause nearly as much damage, with no fatalities. Why do some e...
February 23, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
If only global warming were as simple as that term implies. Temperatures would increase at a steady rate around the globe, winters would become milder, snow less common. The only victims would be ski slopes and polar bears.But climate change—the preferred term for our global phenomenon—is messier. ...
February 03, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
If you think everything is bigger in Texas, then you've never been to Australia, where an area as large as that U.S. state is now under water. And flooding across this section of the state of Queensland, north of Brisbane, could last for weeks. The culprit? La Niña.La Niña is the cold water counter...
January 05, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
It's the end of the year, so you know what that means—it's time for the parade of "year in review" articles. Start with Smithsonian.com's Top 10 Stories of 2010, which features lots of science, and then move on to these others:* Discover magazine picked the top 100 stories of 2010 (and my brother w...
December 29, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Is your office rather empty this week? Looking for something to read to fill the time? How about some great science and nature stories from Smithsonian? Here are my ten favorites from the past year:The Truth About Lions (January): Staff writer Abigail Tucker visits Craig Packer, who has been runnin...
December 28, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski