Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) at the Houston Zoo. Josh Henderson

Caught on camera: The fossa, Madagascar’s elusive top predator

The fossa, Madagascar's largest predator, is a cat-like carnivore that eats everything from insects to lemurs. Because they are rare and elusive, scientists know very little about them, including how many there are.
Florida’s Turkey Point Nuclear Plant shut down 12 hours before Hurricane Andrew made landfall in 1992. AP Photo/Phil Sandlin

Nuclear reactors in hurricanes: 5 questions answered

Lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the Fukushima disaster in 2011 have changed how utilities brace for big storms.
Assembling sandbags in Virginia Beach, Va., before Hurricane Florence’s arrival. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

How social networks can save lives when disasters strike

Many factors can influence people to evacuate or stay in place when disasters loom. Research using Facebook posts suggests that people with broad social networks are more apt to get moving.
Hurricane Florence, as seen over the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 9. NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center/Handout via REUTERS

How meteorologists predict the next big hurricane

How do experts know when and where the next big hurricane is going to hit? A look at the complicated science of forecasting.
Weather towers like this one in a park in Vienna were a popular way for the 19th-century public to track the influence of weather on their lives. Source: Wikimedia

The 19th-century tumult over climate change – and why it matters today

Climate science in the computer age is the pursuit of elite scientists. A historian of science sees an upside to the popular, participatory approach of studying changes to the climate from the 19th century.
The 2016 Maple fire (photographed in July 2017) reburned young forests that had regenerated after the 1988 Yellowstone fires. More frequent high-severity fires are expected in the future as climate warms, which may change patterns of forest recovery. Monica Turner

Here’s how forests rebounded from Yellowstone’s epic 1988 fires – and why that could be harder in the future

Huge fires roared through Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988, scorching one-third of the park. Since then the park has been a valuable lab for studying how forests recover from fires.