Will Hurricane Sandy's impact be felt in the November elections? Research shows that incumbent parties tend to not do well in states that face extreme weather. A 2004 Vanderbilt study revealed that Al Gore lost a whopping 2.8 million votes in states that received excessive rain (or drought). So yes, Hurricane Sandy could affect President Obama's chances at the polls. But while Obama can't control the weather, he can control how deftly he responds to it which, in turn, could sway voters in his favor.
Hurricane Isaac has now made two landfalls in southern Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast region is no doubt in for a long Wednesday. The slow-moving storm carries an increased risk for flooding in the affected regions, as rainfall totals will be higher. And then there's that storm surge, and those Category One, 80 mile-per-hour winds. Kind of makes you wonder how something so violent and destructive on the underside can look so tranquil from above. This is a major test of the world's largest water pump system, which was installed in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.
When disaster strikes and permanent structures are leveled, as they were recently by earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand (and more distantly in Haiti), they are usually replaced in the short term by tent cities. Two engineering students thought they could do better and invented Concrete Canvas, a fabric impregnated with concrete that can turn a tent into a hardy, permanent structure in 24 hours. Just add water.
The Caribbean is no stranger to seismic natural disaster, and after last week’s quake and devastation in Japan authorities in 33 Caribbean states don’t need to be told twice that it could happen there too. As such, those nations will participate in the first-ever full-scale international exercise on March 23 simulating a 7.6 earthquake off the American Virgin Islands and the ensuing tusnami.
The Guatemalan government posted this picture Monday of a massive 200-foot-deep sinkhole in the capital of Guatemala City, which opened after a weekend of heavy rain from tropical storm Agatha.
A three-story building and at least one man were swallowed by its gaping maw, which officials estimate to be 100 feet in diameter.
Geoscience experts have developed a system of smart buoys that can predict the formation of self-reinforcing underwater waves, or solitons, 10 hours before they threaten the safety of oil rigs and divers. In 2008, Martin Goff and his colleagues at FUGROS, a geoscience consulting agency, successfully tested the system for three months in the Andaman Sea. Now, Global Ocean Associates have acknowledged the device as "the first deployed system with real-time warning capability."
It takes Scott Kiser only a split second to name the one city in the U.S., and probably the world, that would sustain the most catastrophic damage from a category-5 hurricane. "New Orleans," says Kiser, a tropical-cyclone program manager for the National Weather Service. "Because the city is below sea level-with the Mississippi River on one side and Lake Pontchartrain on the other-it is a hydrologic nightmare." The worst problem, he explains, would be a storm surge, a phenomenon in which high winds stack up huge waves along a hurricane´s leading edge.