Chances are you’ve never heard of the Port Chicago disaster. Yet it was the worst catastrophe on the US home front during World War II. It was the single deadliest incident on the mainland during the war, and remains one of the worst calamities to ever hit the San Francisco Bay Area. »
A little over a year ago, NASA’s Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with a Cygnus spacecraft onboard, suffered a “catastrophic anomaly” just moments after launch. NASA has now released a stunning new set of previously unseen photos chronicling the disaster. »
Why aren’t we more concerned about the increasing severity and frequency of natural disasters? A study published this week suggests that all that disaster coverage can, paradoxically, increase our “appetite for risk.” Uh oh. »
Kolontár’s wounds are deep. Five years ago, on October 4, 2010, roughly one million cubic meters of liquid chemical waste burst from a red mud reservoir of the Ajka Alumina Plant. The 2-4 meters high wave of toxic sludge flooded the small village west of Budapest, and minutes later, six other villages and towns. »
When a hurricane takes aim at the coast or a blizzard looms in the forecast, something strange comes over us. We swarm into grocery stores, stripping the shelves bare of canned goods and staple foods. Lines stretch all the way around the supermarket, and it’s like Black Friday on the produce aisle, with people arguing… »
Hurricanes and blizzards are petty trifles compared with the weather phenomenon that troubles apocalypse preppers: They’re worried about a giant electromagnetic storm wiping out all technology.
Most of us don’t think much of the weather statements that meteorologists from the National Weather Service make every single day. Until there’s a natural disaster, of course. But a forecast issued as Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf states ten years ago today made history for its eloquence—and changed the way… »
We all know that major storms can wreak havoc, flooding cities and decimating infrastructure. But there’s an even bigger worry than wind and rain: space weather. If a massive solar storm hit us, our technology would be wiped out. The entire planet could go dark. »
The explosions that devastated Tianjin yesterday were so powerful, they registered as seismic activity by China’s National Earthquake Network. And the “quakes” geophysicists saw don’t even begin to capture the magnitude of the blasts. »
The United States has experienced its share of military successes over the years. But its armed forces have also suffered some terrible setbacks. Here are eight of the very worst. »
Dozens of charred, abandoned cars made for a surreal landscape after a massive wildfire swept across a major Southern California freeway yesterday afternoon. Early this morning officials confirmed that five drones flying over the scene hindered firefighters’ response and caused the fire to jump the freeway. »
Since their inception 60 years ago, satellites have gone on to become an indispensable component of our modern high-tech civilization. But because they’re reliable and practically invisible, we take their existence for granted. Here’s what would happen if all our satellites suddenly just disappeared. »
The night Hurricane Alicia struck Houston in the summer of 1983, shattering high-rise windows downtown and stacking sailboats in the marina, there were two engineers waiting on the top floor of the Allied Bank Plaza. The 71-story emerald glass tower—since renamed, and renamed again—had just opened that year. In… »
Roughly 3.3 billion years ago, Earth’s early life forms were plunged into an unimaginable hell, when a series of massive asteroids smashed into the young planet, vaporizing the oceans and scorching the skies. »
As rescue efforts in Nepal begin to shift to recovery mode, relief workers in the earthquake-ravaged country are focusing on infrastructure—including the catastrophic loss of so many historic structures. And increasingly, they’re using emerging technology to do it.
We humans are doing a bang-up job of messing up our home planet. But who’s to say we can’t go on to screw things up elsewhere? Here, not listed in any particular order, are 12 unintentional ways we could do some serious damage to our Solar System, too. »