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Posts Tagged "hurricane"

Anthropology in Practice

The Truth in Pictures: Disasters in the Digital Age

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For two days Hurricane Irene pounded the coast of the Eastern United States. Though she was ultimately downgraded to a tropical storm, the damage from flooding and downed branches left no doubt as to the power she commanded: washed out roads and rail lines, flooded homes, and widespread power failures left millions trying to pick [...]

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Observations

1 Hurricane Is Enough to Ruin Your Year

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GOWANUS—The surge of sewer water, toxic sludge and “Brooklyn whitefish” (aka condoms) stopped one short block away from my house back on the long night of October 29, 2012. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy coming ashore at high tide, my little brick rowhouse in this late industrial neighborhood of Brooklyn was only spared inundation by the [...]

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Observations

Hurricane-Riding Microbes Make a Home at Cruising Altitude

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Sample a hurricane’s air from a plane high in the stratosphere and, in addition to the expected water and grit, you’ll find an abundance of microbes. Swept up from land and sea by the tropical cyclone’s power, the skyborne bacteria persist in the atmosphere for days—and some may even thrive there. A new survey of [...]

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Observations

The Future According to Sandy

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“We [seem to] have a 100-year flood every two years now,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he told President Barack Obama during his tour of the damage from Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday. The remark is in the spirit of what climate scientists have been saying about the rise in “extreme weather events,” sea level [...]

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Observations

The Science of Hurricane Sandy–Live Blog

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Welcome to Scientific American‘s Science of Sandy live blog where we are posting continuous updates on the storm and its aftermath, and answering your questions. If you have pictures, video, audio or questions about this tropical cyclone (categorized as a hurricane and a tropical storm at various times in its progress)—share them with us at sciamsandy@gmail.com, [...]

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Observations

Hurricane Isaac Strengthens and Takes Aim at New Orleans

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In an eerie coincidence, Hurricane Isaac has spun up to Category 1 strength over warm Gulf waters and is predicted to hit southeastern Louisiana—and possibly New Orleans directly—seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina slammed the Crescent City. The tropical cyclone will likely be no stronger than a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale [...]

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Observations

Freshwater Layers in Seas Found to Speed Up Hurricanes

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Earth’s most powerful storms—sometimes called hurricanes or typhoons but collectively known to scientists as tropical cyclones—remain dangerously unpredictable. And what’s most mysterious about tropical cyclones is what we would most like to know: how strong they are likely to become. I’m not talking about whether climate change is going to make hurricanes stronger or not [...]

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Observations

Map of Flood Risks and Hurricane Evacuation Zones Wakes Up NYC Residents [UPDATE]

As Hurricane Irene trundles toward the densely populated cities of the U.S. Northeast, residents and officials in municipalities large and small have been preparing for a full-force tropical cyclone. “All implications point to this being a historic hurricane,” President Barak Obama said in a speech Friday morning. Some 50 million people along the eastern seaboard [...]

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Observations

How to Prepare for a Hurricane in the U.S. Northeast

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It’s not that the central and northern portions of the east coast of North America never see hurricanes. It’s just that we in the Northeast don’t see them that often. The last one was in 1999, and the last bad one was in 1938, a deadly one that caused damage  that can still be seen [...]

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Observations

Protecting New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina

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This Sunday, August 29, is the fifth anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, which touched off one of the most egregious and most publicized tragedies in modern American history. Scientific American published an article in 2001 that predicted precisely the kind of destruction the storm wrought, based on computer models of hurricane [...]

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Plugged In

Typhoon … Yolanda?

Ok, quick question: What do you know about Typhoon Yolanda? Nothing, right? Guess what — it just went by. I’ll explain, but first: everyone is still working hard to help the people of the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan (here’s a collection of places through which you can help), as well we should. So if [...]

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Plugged In

The U.S. Electric Grid vs. Extreme Weather

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Yesterday, Hurricane Irene weakened to become Tropical Storm Irene – but not before leaving at least 4 million homes without power and causing fuel shortages along the United State’s Atlantic coast. This hurricane brought on-land wind speeds of more than 85 mph in the continental United States, and maintained its hurricane status through most of [...]

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Plugged In

Hurricane Irene is a reminder that adapting to climate change is smart policy, regardless of the climate change part

Talk about eery timing. The current special issue of Scientific American is about cities, and as I type this, Hurricane Irene is making her way up the Atlantic seaboard and is expected to reach New York City by Sunday morning. I, like nearly everyone else, am refreshing news pages, blog posts, and scanning my Twitter [...]

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Talking back

Science Lesson During Sandy: Scary Pimples

Throughout Sandy, I was cooped up in my apartment in northern Manhattan with my son Benjamin, who was studying for a medical school exam on the cranial nerves. I drilled him through endless lists, ocularmotor nerve (cranial III),  hypoglossal (cranial XII), and so on. Then he volunteered a medical factoid that I had never heard [...]

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