Natural Disasters

Researchers found the skeleton of a human (pictured) and dog left behind by a tsunami that destroyed coastal communities along the Mediterranean Sea some 3,600 years ago.

Cool Finds

First Human Skeleton From Bronze Age Tsunami Discovered in Turkey

Archaeologists find remains of a young man and dog left behind by a natural disaster some 3,600 years ago in the Mediterranean

On average, December has about 24 twisters in the United States per year. However, tornados occurring as far north as Illinois and Kentucky are highly uncommon for early winter.
 

At Least 100 Feared Dead After December Twisters Slam Midwestern and Southern States

The rare winter event was a result of abnormal weather patterns exacerbated by La Niña and global warming

Over the course of our planet’s history, major impacts by comets and asteroids are plentiful.

The Very Real Effort to Track Killer Asteroids and Comets

In "Don't Look Up," researchers warn authorities about a comet hurtling towards Earth. Such a scenario isn’t just science fiction

Chicago's Great Fire sparked on October 8, 1871 and raged for more than 24 hours. 

History of Now

Chicago's Great Fire, 150 Years Later

An exhibition at the Chicago History Museum explores the legacy of the blaze, which devastated the Midwestern city and left 100,000 homeless

NOAA and Saildrone deployed the fleet of five hurricane-class vessels in the Atlantic’s “hurricane belt” in the summer months leading up to this year’s tropical storm season. 

 

Innovation for Good

'Saildrone' Captures First-Ever Video From Inside a Category 4 Hurricane

This uncrewed, remote-controlled vessel gathered valuable scientific data that could help researchers better understand and predict these violent storms

Three giant rocks—Tokia, Rebua, and Kamatoa—sit in the ocean south of Makin Island in the Republic of Kiribati.

How Indigenous Stories Helped Scientists Understand the Origin of Three Huge Boulders

Legends spurred researchers to form a theory about Makin Island's distinctively out-of-place rocks

Construction of the pyramid, which stood 43 feet tall and roughly 130 feet wide, began within 5 to 30 years of the Tierra Blanca Joven eruption.

The Maya Built This Monumental Pyramid Out of Volcanic Rock

New research cites the colossal construction as evidence of the civilization's rapid recovery from a devastating eruption

Natural disasters do not destroy buildings evenly. By studying which fall and which are left standing, engineers can develop new strategies for the future.

When a Natural Disaster Hits, Structural Engineers Learn From the Destruction

StEER engineers assess why some buildings survive hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and why others do not

Researchers with the Kivi Kuaka project are tagging a variety of Pacific birds, hoping they will reveal differences in their capacity to detect and respond to dangerous storms and tsunamis.

Can Birds Tip Us Off to Natural Disasters?

Researchers think birds can hear hurricanes and tsunamis—a sense they’re hoping to tap into to develop a bird-based early warning system

Two original slave cabins, as well as the 1790 Big House, 1790 barn and 19th-century kitchen, survived the storm. But Ida destroyed at least several structures on the historic plantation.

Hurricane Ida Damages Whitney Plantation, Only Louisiana Museum to Focus on the Enslaved

The historic site will remain closed indefinitely as staff assess the destruction and make repairs

Smithsonian Voices

How the Smithsonian Collected Artifacts That Told the Story of Hurricane Katrina

Buildings in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, pictured here, sustained damage when Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Destroys New Orleans Jazz Landmark Dubbed Louis Armstrong's 'Second Home'

The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence collapsed on Sunday after water pooled on its roof

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana's southeastern coast at 11:55 am eastern on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Slams Louisiana Coast on the 16th Anniversary of Katrina

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall in southeastern Louisiana midday Sunday, causing extensive flooding and power outages

This Aztec pictogram depicts warriors drowning as a temple burns in the background. New research links the scene to a 1507 earthquake.

Aztec Pictograms Are the First Written Records of Earthquakes in the Americas

New analysis of the 16th-century "Codex Telleriano-Remensis" reveals 12 references to the natural disasters

Pocket watch with engraved, gold-plated case found on the body of postal clerk John Starr March. The hands point to 1:27, around when the Titanic sank on the morning of April 15, 1912.

What a Watch Tells Us About the Titanic's Final Hours

The handheld item, belonging to an American crew member, stopped minutes before the ship sank

The 6-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide pumpkin was installed on Japan's Naoshima island in 1994.

Typhoon Sweeps Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Sculpture Into the Sea

Experts on Japan's Naoshima island recovered the damaged artwork and are attempting to restore it

The first verse of the Book of Amos states that the events the narrator plans to relay took place “two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah.”

Cool Finds

Researchers Find Physical Evidence of Earthquake Described in Old Testament

Excavations in Jerusalem revealed damage dating to the eighth century B.C.E., when the natural disaster reportedly took place

The Parthenon, the temple that sits atop Athens' Acropolis, seen surrounded by smoke on August 4

Ancient Olympics' Birthplace Saved as Fires Rage Across Southern Europe

A massive heatwave sparked blazes along the Mediterranean, threatening cultural heritage sites and forcing mass evacuations

This map shows how land and ocean temperatures have changed from June 2021 relative to the 1951-1980 base period. High values (darker red colors) indicate temperatures that are higher than those in the base period. The number in the top right is an estimate of the global mean temperature increase. All temperatures are in Celsius.

New Research

Study Measuring Earth's Vital Signs Warns of Climate Tipping Points

The authors say tropical coral reefs, the Amazon rainforest, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets may have passed dangerous tipping points

A map from NOAA showing parts of the country that are under heat advisory as of July 27 (orange), excessive heat watch (brown) and excessive heat warning (fuchsia). The shaded areas of the map with heat related advisories or warnings encompass more than 30 million people.

'Heat Dome' Descends on Central United States

Forecasts suggest more than 30 million people could see temperatures topping 100 degrees this week

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