The Science Times Book of Natural Disasters

The Science Times Book of Natural Disasters


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The Earth and all its inhabitants are vulnerable to the whims of nature, sometimes lethal whims of catastrophic proportions. Natural disasters claim the lives of about 1 million people every decade. Here in the latest book in the Science Times series, award-winning New York Times journalists take us into the heart of the most harrowing sources of natural disasters.Earthquakes, tornadoes, and volcanoes may be as powerful and awe-inspiring as when they were first experienced by humankind, but in the effort to better predict where and when they will next happen, scientists have made some of the most astonishing discoveries.No amount of technology can lessen the impact of a deadly asteroid from space colliding with our planet - a potential impact of twenty H-bombs - but scientists are perfecting ways to predict which asteroids will cross Earth's path, and suggesting extreme measures to deflect them from their course.Causes for and effects of the warming of the planet is another of the fascinating realms explored herein. Climatic changes indicate increased intensity and frequency of storms and hurricanes, especially to the northeast, suggesting a greater likelihood of the melting of polar ice caps due to global warming. Spanning the full range of Mother Nature's fury, this volume is a terrific read for weather and geology buffs, amateur naturalists, students, and anyone interested in astronomy and the earth sciences. (71/4 X 91/2, 212 pages, illustrations)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558219571
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2000
Series: Science Times Series
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.51(h) x 0.77(d)

About the Author

Nicholas Wade is a longtime reporter for The New York Times's Science section, which studies by the Times have shown is the most popular section of the paper around the country. Before writing for the Times, Wade was the deputy editor of Nature magazine in London, one of the world's most prestigious science publications, and a reporter for Science magazine, the world's premier science journal. He is the author or coauthor of six books, including A Natural History of Vision.

Table of Contents

When a Volcano Turns Deadly for Those Studying Its Moods6
Below Yellowstone, Earth Is on the Boil12
Facing the Peril of Earth's Cauldrons17
Exploring Undersea Birth Throes of a New Hawaiian Island22
Ice Sheets Seem Unmoved by the Volcanic Eruptions Below28
El Popo's Rumblings Draw Volcanologists to Edge of Danger30
U.S. Scientists Get Rare Glimpse of a Russian Volcano "Lab"35
The Gradual Greening of Mount St. Helens39
Seismologists Debate Los Angeles's Faults46
Hopes for Predicting Earthquakes, Once So Bright, Are Growing Dim52
Bolivia Shakes, and So Does Theory on Deep Quakes57
Theory of Plate Movement Marks Zones That Breed Frequent Quakes62
3Storms and Hurricanes69
Radar Peeks at Structure Hidden Inside Tornado71
Historic Hurricane Could Catch Northeast with Its Guard Down76
Fewer Northeasters Pound U.S., but Punch Is More Powerful81
Storm Warning: Bigger Hurricanes and More of Them84
4Climatic Catastrophe89
Coping with Climate Change; If Climate Changes, Who Is Vulnerable? Panels Offer Some Local Projections91
Warmer, Wetter, Sicker: Linking Climate to Health97
Dead Trees and Shriveling Glaciers as Alaska Melts103
If Climate Changes, It May Change Quickly111
Violent Weather Battering Globe Baffles Experts117
In Ancient Ice Ages, Clues to Climate122
5Disasters from the Past129
New Theory Would Reconcile Views on Dinosaurs' Demise132
Many Small Events May Add Up to One Mass Extinction139
Santorini Volcano Ash, Traced Afar, Gives a Date of 1623 B.C.143
Heavy Volcanic Eras Were Caused by Plumes from the Earth's Core146
Study Finds Asteroid Leveled Siberian Area in 1908153
Collapse of Earliest Known Empire Is Linked to Long, Harsh Drought155
6Doomsday from Space163
Asteroid Defense: "Risk Is Real," Planners Say166
Scientists Ponder Saving Planet from Earth-Bound Comet174
NASA Photographs an Asteroid Giving Earth a Close Shave, Sort of180
Meteoroids Hit Atmosphere in Atomic-Size Blasts183
New Look at Apocalypse: Dying Sun Will Boil Seas and Leave Orbiting Cinder189

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