What makes California’s current major wildfires so unusual

Wildfires continue burning in California, with unhealthy air from smoke still cloaking some parts of the state. Combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, the fires are compounding risks that have been brewing for years. Fire officials have grouped some of the smaller fires in an area into complexes to coordinate their response. The largest of theseRead moreRead more

Hurricane Laura hits Gulf Coast as an “extremely dangerous” storm

The National Hurricane Center warned that Hurricane Laura will cause “life-threatening storm surge” reaching up to 40 miles inland and rising up to 20 feet as the storm made landfall in Texas and Louisiana. Laura reached the Gulf Coast after midnight on Thursday morning at an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 strength, with winds reaching 140Read moreRead more

Hurricane Laura: The danger of storm surge, explained

Hurricane Laura made landfall at 1 am ET Thursday in Cameron, Louisiana, as a fierce Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds. It has since downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, with wind speeds of 75 mph, and is moving north. But perhaps the most dangerous part of the storm may be the storm surgeRead moreRead more

Hurricane Laura was already a deadly storm before it reached the US

Before Hurricane Laura made landfall in the United States, it had already proved to be a deadly storm in three Caribbean countries, bringing torrential downpours, flooding, power outages, and other damage that killed over 20 people and has made life dangerous for millions more. As a tropical storm, Laura pummeled the Dominican Republic last weekendRead moreRead more

Trump asked for fewer Covid-19 tests. Now the CDC is recommending less testing.

A couple of months ago, President Donald Trump said he told federal officials to “slow the testing down, please.” Now the Trump administration is taking a step that would, in effect, slow down testing. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its testing guidelines to no longer recommend people get testedRead moreRead more

Rapid $1 Covid-19 tests exist. Why can’t we get them?

To get the US pandemic under control, a growing number of health and medical experts are making a clarion call for an additional testing approach to Covid-19. What we need, they argue, are at-home rapid tests that look for antigens, proteins the live virus makes. These kits would allow anyone to test themselves for theRead moreRead more

How Trump let Covid-19 win

As America, and even his own administration, woke up to the threat of Covid-19, President Donald Trump still didn’t seem to get it. Within weeks of suggesting that people social distance in mid-March, the president went on national TV to argue that the US could reopen by Easter Sunday in April. “You’ll have packed churchesRead moreRead more

Tropical Storm Laura’s flooding and other impacts on the ground: What we know

Tropical Storm Laura, which has been downgraded from a hurricane, made landfall early Thursday morning in Cameron, Louisiana — just 35 miles east of the Texas-Louisiana border — as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. Already, pictures and videos of the storm from Lake Charles, Louisiana, a town about 50 miles north ofRead moreRead more

The absurdity of Trump’s RNC speech, in one photo

President Donald Trump’s speech on Thursday — and the events surrounding the Republican National Convention in general — at times came off as a celebration: a series of rhetorical monuments to a president who, based on what he and his supporters said, had triumphantly carried America through one of its best periods. It’s an imageRead moreRead more

“Extinction breeds extinctions”: How losing one species can wipe out many more

Earth is now in the middle of a mass extinction, the sixth one in the planet’s history, according to scientists. And now a new study reports that species are going extinct hundreds or thousands of times faster than the expected rate. The researchers also found that one extinction can cause ripple effects throughout an ecosystem,Read moreRead more