Articles on Natural disasters

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Forensic anthropologists, who analyse skeletal remains, can give us clues to how someone lived and died. from www.shutterstock.com

How do we identify human remains?

While forensic scientists mostly use fingerprints, dental records and DNA to identify human remains, they have many other techniques in their forensic toolkit. How many have you heard of?
Surf threatens beach houses on Dauphin Island, Alabama, September 4, 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. AP Photo/Dave Martin

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

"Building back better" refers to making communities more disaster-proof and resilient after they take a hit. But instead, some U.S. owners are building back bigger homes in vulnerable places.
A Monmouth County, N.J. home in 2015. Jack L. Harris

It takes years to fully recover from big storms like Sandy

Getting everyone whose lives were thrown off-track back takes a lot of personal effort, paired with work done by a constantly shifting mix of nonprofits and governmental agencies over many years.
On the hook: California utility PG&E declared bankruptcy due to liabilities linked to power lines and wildfires. AP Photo/Ben Margot

Many electric utilities are struggling – will more go bankrupt?

The electric utility is seeing rapid changes and threats that affect consumers, from more wind and solar to wildfires. How they react depends in large part on regulators.
A U.S. Forest Service employee using a drop torch during a planned burn in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest. USFS/Ian Horvath

Planned burns can reduce wildfire risks, but expanding use of ‘good fire’ isn’t easy

Decades of wildfire suppression have allowed flammable fuels to pile up in US forests. Scientists and managers say careful use of planned fires can reduce risks of large, out-of-control burns.

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