Natural Disasters

Storms are getting bigger. Droughts are getting longer. As the climate changes, natural disasters are ramping up - here's how we're dealing with them, trying to prevent the worst consequences and learning how to clean up after them.

local transportation is via boat

Traveling on boats is the main mode of transportation between islands of Guna Yala, and most are operated by local Guna people. (Luodan Rojas/Medill)

Northwestern University
Separated by miles of ocean and a 2-hour drive, or a 50-mile hike, through the jungle, Guna Yala and Kalu Yala are two of Panama’s most sustainable communities, but they also are starkly different. Medill's Luodan Rojas reports.

The town of Juan Asencio in the mountain region of Aguas Buenas suffered severe damage from Hurricane Maria, and many homes in the area are still without power. (Hannah Wiley/Medill)

Northwestern University
Puerto Rico's island-wide blackout Wednesday demonstrates how vulnerable the energy infrastructure remains nearly seven months after the hurricane. How can an entire island still suffer from power volatility? 
The University of Mississippi
The National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering at the University of Mississippi conducts research on natural disasters, erosion, dam simulations, and much more.
Solar panels

Solar cells could help Puerto Rico build a new energy grid to end dependency on fossil fuels. (Pixabay)

Elon University
In the aftermath of a devastating hurricane, Puerto Rico faces a challenges to reinvent their power system. Pushes for renewables are embraced by locals. 
13.6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools
State University College at Buffalo
By comparing Harvey to other natural disasters, we can see that this unfortunately ordinary occurrence has become extraordinary.
Storm surge

Storm surges during Hurricane Sandy. (Master Sgt. Mark Olsen/Flickr)

Rutgers University—New Brunswick
As coastal and inland communities alike grapple with the implications of costlier floods and a lack of flood-proof infrastructure, governments have increasingly turned to purchasing and vacating flood-prone properties.

Tornado damage in Louisville, Miss., in April 2014. (Maj. Andy Thaggard/National Guard)

University of Mississippi
Vague tornado watches and warnings could soon become a thing of the past, thanks to research at the National Center for Physical Acoustics.
The Silent Slide
The Silent Slide
SUNY-ESF
In the summer of 2016, a team of researchers were dropped off by helicopter in the back-country of Denali National Park. Like many scientific undertakings, it did not go as expected... One member of the trip was Kyle Turchick. This video portrays... Read More

(Tomasz B. Falkowski/SUNY-ESF)

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Ecological disturbances have long been considered destructive, but in reality, can be an essential life-giving force that maintains ecosystem health.
George Washington University, Hacienda Victoria
My experience in Ecuador as a social worker has taught me how important it is to educate people that live in poor conditions, and how to sustain themselves while keeping their environments clean.

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