• Earthquake-proof airport terminal in Istanbul airport

    Large swaths of Turkey are earthquake prone; the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake, for example, killed 17,000 people, injured 50,000, and destroyed 27,000 buildings, leaving 500,000 homeless; estimates of property losses range from $3 billion to $6.5 billion; engineers claim they have made the terminal at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport earthquake-proof

  • Louisiana levee to use stabilizing fabric

    The 1,600-foot earthen levee, which runs south from the Old Estelle Pump Station, has failed twice, once in the early 1990s and again in 2007 when two sections totaling 600 feet long slumped badly; Army Corps of Engineers will use geotextile fabric to stabilize known trouble spots before raising the levee from 10 feet to 14.5 feet

  • Despite concerns, development still heads to the coast

    Many scientists predict that by 2100, sea levels would rise more than one meter; still, Florida has opened more vulnerable areas along the Atlantic coast to construction — and has done so more than any other state

  • Aussies worry about rising sea levels

    About 80 percent of Australians live in coastal areas, and a new parliamentary report recommends new laws banning further development in coastal regions

  • Cosmic entropy could be 100 times greater than previously thought

    Entropy increases as the number of ways the system can be arranged microscopically without changing the external appearance increases; new study shows that cosmic entropy is a 100 times greater than earlier estimates; the entropy of the universe must be below the maximum theoretical value or life and other complex phenomena will cease to exist; as the entropy gradually increases it will eventually approach the theoretical maximum, a state many physicists have called the heat death of the universe; the new study thus shows that our universe is closer to its death than previously thought

  • Tornado threat increases as Gulf hurricanes get larger

    New study predicted exactly the number of hurricanes seen for Hurricane Ike: 33; tornadoes that occur from hurricanes moving inland from the Gulf Coast are increasing in frequency

  • Without water reform Asia will face food shortage by 2050

    There are three options for meeting the food needs of Asia’s population, which will expand by one-and-a-half billion people over the next forty years: The first is to import large quantities of cereals from other regions; the second to improve and expand rainfed agriculture; and the third to focus on irrigated farmlands

  • Massive earthquakes shake scientific thought

    Experts who dismissed notions that far-away quakes could be linked are beginning to think again after huge tremors rocked Samoa and Indonesia on the same day, followed by another major convulsion in Vanuatu

  • New Bay Bridge span designed to endure major quake

    Twenty years ago a 250-ton section of the Bay Bridge fell into the water as a result of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake; the new bridge design will be able to withstand the largest plausible earthquake to occur within a 1,500-year period

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, II

    Asteroid impacts are much rarer than hurricanes and earthquakes, but they have the potential to do much greater damage; moreover, what if an asteroid hits Earth in the Middle East or the Asian subcontinent? Such an event could be misinterpreted as a nuclear attack — both produce a bright flash, a blast wave, and raging winds; the result may be a nuclear war

  • How high is the risk of civilization-killing asteroids?

    Planetary bombardments: scientists at a planets meeting discuss the risks of an asteroid colliding with Earth; researchers are worried about asteroid Apophis, which will come uncomfortably close to Earth on 13 April 2029; one scientist said that “It’s 10 times more likely that an unknown asteroid will slam into us from behind while you’re looking at Apophis”

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, I

    There are thousands of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) orbiting Earth; some of them are of a civilization-ending size, others are smaller — they will take out “only” a country or a city were they to collide with Earth; scientists say we should focus our minds on this danger

  • Is California's Big One coming?

    In 1992 and in 2004, remote earthquakes caused changes to the San Andreas fault; in both cases, there were distinct changes in the movement of fluids and an increase in the frequency of micro-earthquakes deep within the fault below Parkfield; what will be the effect on the fault of the recent Sumatra earthquake?

  • Corps asked to scrap floodgate plans in Belle Chasse, Louisiana

    There is a debate in Louisiana about the best way to protect homes in the Jesuit Bend area: the Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a floodgate — but this would leave some 1,400 homes unprotected; residents prefer an 8-mile levee

  • New Orleans storm pumps do not protect city

    The Army Corps of Engineers quickly installed new storm control pumps in New Orleans in the months after Katrina; trouble is, these pumps do not protect the city, the the Corps could have saved $430 million in replacement costs by buying proven equipment