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Hurricane Irene caused a stormquake near Little Bahama Bank in 2011. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Powerful hurricanes and other storms can actually cause small earthquakes in the ocean, scientists have found.

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A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Victims of climate change protest for climate refugees on the occasion of the Global Climate March on Nov. 28, 2015 in Kutubdia Island, Bangladesh. Zakir Hossain Chowdhury / Barcro / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Over the past decade, climate-fueled disasters drove over 20 million people a year from their homes, concluded a report released by Oxfam on Monday. The Oxfam study, titled "Forced from Home," was released as two weeks of UN climate negotiations kick-start in Madrid.

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The Bingham Canyon open-pit copper mine in Utah has operated since 1903. David Guthrie, CC BY 2.0

By Matthew Ross

Modern society relies on metals like copper, gold and nickel for uses ranging from medicine to electronics. Most of these elements are rare in Earth's crust, so mining them requires displacing vast volumes of dirt and rock. Hard rock mining – so called because it refers to excavating hard minerals, not softer materials like coal or tar sands – generated $600 billion in revenues worldwide in 2017.

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Japan's newly-appointed Environment and Nuclear Disaster Minister Shinjiro Koizumi enters the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Sept. 11. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Japan's new environmental minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, called Wednesday for permanently shutting down the nation's nuclear reactors to prevent a repeat of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, comments that came just a day after Koizumi's predecessor recommended dumping more than one million tons of radioactive wastewater from the power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

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The 18th century St. Catherine of Alexandria church is seen after its bell tower was destroyed following a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the town of Porac, pampanga province on April 23. TED ALJIBE / AFP / Getty Images

At least 16 people have died, 81 are injured and 14 are still missing after an earthquake struck Luzon island in the Philippines Monday, according to the latest figures from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, as the Philippine Star tweeted Tuesday.

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Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Wikimedia

By Harvey Wasserman

Had last Friday's 7.1 earthquake and other ongoing seismic shocks hit less than 200 miles northwest of Ridgecrest/China Lake, ten million people in Los Angeles would now be under an apocalyptic cloud, their lives and those of the state and nation in radioactive ruin.

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Nuclear Power Plant Isar II in Bavaria, Germany seen from sky. brewbooks / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

All seven of Germany's nuclear power plants are slated to close by 2022, but questions remain about where the European country can safely bury nearly 28,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste that will stay there for the next million years, as CNN reported.

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Natascha Engel resigned from her role as the shale gas commissioner over the government's commitment to seismic activity regulations. BBC News / Frack Free TV / YouTube screenshot

By Russell Scott and Zach Boren

The British government's recently-departed shale gas commissioner admitted to routinely deleting correspondence and throwing away notes from meetings with fracking companies in a move that may have violated transparency requirements.

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An artist's impression of NASA's InSight lander on Mars. NASA / JPL-CALTECH

Scientists have likely detected a so-called marsquake — an earthquake on Mars — for the first time, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

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Cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on could fall heavily on the public.
Susan Vineyard / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Justin Mikulka

Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on.

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Red dots represent earthquakes near Anchorage in the last 24 hours as of Dec. 3. Yellow dots represent quakes in the last two weeks. The size of the dots represent the magnitude. Alaska Earthquake Center

Roughly 1,400 aftershocks have followed after Friday's monster 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage Daily News reported.

The aftershocks all surrounded the original temblor that was centered about 7 miles north of Alaska's largest city.

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Hundreds of those displaced by Hurricane Dorian gather at a port that was turned into a distribution and evacuation center in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on Sept. 7. Carolyn Van Houten / The Washington Post / Getty Images

The Trump administration will not grant temporary protected status to people evacuating the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, the White House announced Wednesday. On the same day, Bahamian authorities said that around 2,500 people are listed as missing after the strongest storm to ever hit the country.

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Greenpeace fracking protest in London's Parliament Square. DAVID HOLT / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A string of small earthquakes were reported the town of Blackpool just days after fracking operations restarted in England after a seven year hiatus, raising concerns that the controversial drilling process could eventually trigger bigger temblors.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) detected five quakes since Thursday near the contentious Preston New Road site operated by UK shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources.

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Noah Berger / AFP / Getty Images

In terms of natural disasters, 2018 was a really bad year. Communities in the United States and around the world were devastated by record-breaking wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other catastrophes.

Lamentably, these weather and geophysical events caused 10,400 human deaths and $160 billion in estimated damages last year, reinsurance company Munich Re said on Tuesday.

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Drilling next to homes in North Dakota's Bakken Shale. Tara Lohan

By Tara Lohan

In 2010 when I first started writing about hydraulic fracturing — the process of blasting a cocktail of water and chemicals into shale to release trapped hydrocarbons — there were more questions than answers about environmental and public-health threats. That same year Josh Fox's documentary Gasland, which featured tap water bursting into flames, grabbed the public's attention. Suddenly the term fracking — little known outside the oil and gas industry — became common parlance.

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A makeshift refugee camp about five or six months after the collapse of the Casitas Volcano (in background) in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. This photo was taken near Posoltega, Nicaragua, early April, 1999. Bob Ramsak / piran café / Flickr

By Miranda Cady Hallett

Clouds of dust rose behind the wheels of the pickup truck as we hurtled over the back road in Palo Verde, El Salvador. When we got to the stone-paved part of the road, the driver slowed as the truck heaved up and down with the uneven terrain. Riding in the back bed of the truck, Ruben (not his real name) and I talked while we held on tight, sitting on sacks of dried beans that he was taking to market.

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A pronghorn runs through the Pinedale Anticline natural gas field in Wyoming in 2008. Theo Stein / USFWS

By Tara Lohan

In January 2015 North Dakota experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in its history: A pipeline burst, spilling nearly 3 million gallons of briny, saltwater waste from nearby oil-drilling operations into two creek beds. The wastewater, which flowed all the way to the Missouri River, contained chloride concentrations high enough to kill any wildlife that encountered it.

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The aftermath of flooding and landslides in North Sumatra in Indonesia. AGUS SALIM / AFP / Getty Images

Another tragedy struck Indonesia Friday when heavy rains triggered flash flooding and mudslides that killed at least 27 in Sumatra, ABC reported.

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