EARTH: Fire-driven Clouds and Swirling Winds Whipped Up Record-Setting New Mexico Blaze

he massive 2011 Las Conchas Fire near Los Alamos, N.M., defied conventional fire science wisdom by racing downhill instead of uphill, and increasing intensity overnight. Now, EARTH Magazine brings you recent scientific analysis of the fire from a research team at Los Alamos National Lab.

EARTH: El Niño Disaster Stunted Children's Growth

Children born during, and up to three years after, the devastating 1997-1998 El Niño event in northern Peru were found to be shorter than their peers in a new study covered in EARTH Magazine. The rising waters wiped out crops, drowned livestock, cut off bridges, and caused prolonged famine in many rural villages. Now, a new study that tracked long-term health impacts on children from the affected region has found that a decade later, the children continue to bear signs of the hardship endured early in their lives.

EARTH Magazine: Hazard Lingers After South Napa Earthquake

After the Aug. 24, 2014, Napa Valley earthquake, movement continued along the principal fault to the north of the epicenter, according to a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey. Such "afterslip" is known from previous quakes, but this is the first time that strong afterslip has been observed in a populated residential community.

EARTH Magazine: Protecting the Mineral Treasures of Antarctica's Larsemann Hills

In 2003, scientists visited the Stornes Peninsula in Antarctica’s Larsemann Hills to study the rocks — especially those containing boron and phosphorus minerals. What they found set them on a decade-long path to protect the geology, culminating in 2014 with the naming of the site as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area. Stornes Peninsula became only the fifth location in Antarctica with geologic features deemed sufficiently precious to the geologic community to receive this high level of protection.

EARTH Magazine: The '100-year-flood' fallacy: Return periods misleading in communication of flood risk

Return periods refer to the amount of time that passes on average between consecutive events of similar magnitude for a given location. But when it comes to communicating potential risk from flooding, return periods give many people a false sense of security, partly because they are often mistaken as absolutes instead of averages.

EARTH Magazine: The Geology of Middle-earth

The vaguely familiar, yet primeval landscape of New Zealand served as the backdrop for the blockbuster film adaptations of the entire “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” trilogy, the third and final installment of which opens widely this week. The geology that created this landscape is front and center in EARTH’s February cover story, “The Geology of Middle-earth.”

EARTH Magazine: Hundreds of Methane Seeps Discovered Along the U.S. East Coast

The discovery of hundreds of methane seeps on the seafloor along the U.S. East Coast suggests that hydrocarbon reservoirs may be more common along passive margins than previously thought. The release of such methane globally may have a significant influence on climate, scientists say.


EARTH’s 2014 year-end issue will continue a tradition begun last year, in which EARTH’s editorial team and several of our regular contributors offer short commentaries on topics that caught their fancy this year. The topics are quite varied and personal, although many of the contributions seem to tie into one of two themes: lists and family.

EARTH Magazine: How Much Natural Hazard Mitigation Is Enough?

Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S. East Coast in October 2012, leaving about $65 billion of damage in its wake and raising the question of how to mitigate the damage from future storms. It’s a question that arises in the wake of most natural disasters: What steps can society take to protect itself from storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions? But the question itself illustrates the complexity of preparing for natural disasters.


Subscribe to RSS - earth