The science of resilience: What are the ingredients that help people cope?

bomb cyclone
Photos: ‘Bomb cyclone’ hammers East Coast Waves crash against homes in Scituate, Massachusetts, on Friday, March 2. A powerful nor’easter has morphed into a “bomb cyclone,” bringing rain, snow and heavy winds to parts of the East Coast. Source:

The science of resilience: What are the ingredients that help people cope?

Resilience is on many people’s minds these days. Hurricanes and fires regularly wallop communities. The risks of climate change loom large, and the horrors of war and the refugee crises it spawns show no signs of abating. Bitter political divisions have yielded to acrimony and gloom.

It’s an unsettling time—made more so because we humans have nurtured many of these crises, yet feel unable to control them. But even though hardship cripples some, others rebound. What can science teach us about how we might gird for future challenges and adapt to them?

To find out, we followed the stories. They took us to New Orleans, Louisiana, where social scientists are tracking Hurricane Katrina survivors. They took us to the Middle East, where scientists are testing a program designed to foster resilience among traumatized children. They took us to Bangladesh, where residents are rethinking whether resilience means bending to nature’s will or fighting it. And they took us deep into the natural world, as we invited scientists to consider what makes ecosystems on land and water resilient, and explored…


Europe Was Colder Than the North Pole This Week. How Could That Be?

Subfreezing temperatures have spread across much of Europe over the past week, stretching from Poland to Spain. Snow fell in Rome for the first time in six years. Norway recorded the lowest temperatures of the cold snap: minus 43 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 42 Celsius) in the southeast part of the country on Thursday.

And on Friday, Britain and Ireland were buffeted by a storm that brought snow and high winds, along with cold that was expected to linger for days.

If Europe feels like the Arctic right now, the Arctic itself is balmy by comparison. The North Pole is above the freezing mark in the dead of winter; there are no direct measurements there, but merging satellite data with other temperature data shows that temperatures soared this week to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). That is 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, and 78 degrees warmer than in parts of Norway…


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