Natural Disasters

Five Years After Katrina, Big Alien Rodents Return

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 26, 2010   View Article

Five years after Hurricane Katrina whacked down the population of the invasive, wetland-munching rodents in Louisiana, nutria have bounced back.

At the same time, some coastal marshes are rebounding too, because of a boom in Louisiana’s nutria trappers.

Pictures: Giant Undersea Volcano Revealed

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 15, 2010   View Article

Captured by high-resolution cameras aboard a robotic submersible, mineral-rich water spews from hydrothermal vents in this June 30 picture of Kawio Barat, a massive undersea volcano off Indonesia.

During the past few weeks, the submerged volcano—one of the world’s largest—was mapped and explored in detail for the first time by a joint Indonesian-U.S. expedition north of the island of Sulawesi.

Mystery Volcano Solves Global Cooling Puzzle

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 9, 2009   View Article

A newly detected 19th-century volcanic eruption may solve the mystery of a strangely cool decade in the early 1800s, researchers say—but the location of the volcano itself remains a puzzle.

Scientists have long blamed the 1815 eruption of an Indonesian volcano, Tambora, for a worldwide cold snap the following year—the so-called year without a summer.

10 slices of summer science

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: June 15, 2009   View Article

From “shooting stars” to the growth of dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, there are several science-related things that occur in the summer. Check out ten.

8.7 ideas in earthquake prediction

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: April 6, 2009   View Article

Earthquakes are notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to predict. “You are dealing with a very complex physical system that behaves very differently in many places,” says David Schwartz, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s San Francisco Bay Area Earthquake Hazards Project. Nevertheless, researchers are trying to improve earthquake probability forecasts and working toward, maybe one day, prediction and prevention. Learn about eight of their ideas.

Photos: Over 100 “Quake Dogs” Get Medical Aid in China

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 21, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of dogs rehabilitated at a dog shelter in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake in China.

Undersea Volcanic Eruptions Linked to Ancient Die Off

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 16, 2008   View Article

A surge of undersea volcanic activity about 93 million years ago sapped the oceans of oxygen, triggering a mass extinction of marine life, a new study finds.

The catastrophic event buried a thick mat of organic matter—from large clams to single-celled algae—on the seafloor, which today is a major source of oil.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach