This $250,000 map could do everything from predict natural disasters to aid in rescue missions

Americans Still Flocking to Cities at Risk of Extreme Natural Disasters

The mustard-colored apartments built as public housing more than half a century ago are among the hottest spots in Phoenix, with only a few scrawny trees and metal clothesline poles offering shade in dusty courtyards.

The two-story stucco structures in Edison-Eastlake, a historically Black neighborhood that has become majority Latino, are among the last still standing halfway through a six-year redevelopment project that aims to better protect residents from extreme heat amid a mega drought in the West.

“Until people recognize that extreme heat is a critical problem, we are not going to see critical changes”

Eva Olivas, Executive Director, Phoenix Revitalization Corp

Phoenix was always scorching, but climate change has made the nation’s fifth-largest city even hotter, with temperatures in early September still climbing to 111 degrees (43.8 Celsius). Conditions weren’t much better in Las Vegas, some 300 miles (483 kilometers) to the north, where the thermometer hit 106 degrees (41.3 Celsius).

But in one of the more remarkable findings from the 2020 census, the searing weather has not deterred Americans from settling in such places. The desert cities are in two of the five fastest-growing counties in the U.S., and new population data shows that people keep flocking to communities where climate change makes life more uncomfortable and more precarious…READ ON

This $250,000 map could do everything from predict natural disasters to aid in rescue missions

When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in 2014, investigators thought it had crashed in the middle of the Indian Ocean, about 1,200 miles southwest of Perth. Except the area was so deep and unexplored that in order to locate the wreckage, search teams had to map the floor of the ocean first.

Curtin Reef, Australia [Image: courtesy Port of Brisbane Group/Proteus Ocean Group/Map the Gaps/R2Sonic]

In reality, about 80% of the ocean hasn’t been explored, at least not to the level of detail that could spot a plane wreck, let alone a smaller detail like the spire of an underwater volcano. Mapping the ocean floor can make navigation (and rescue search missions) safer and more efficient, but it can also help us track and protect marine life, predict natural disasters, and even understand the impact of climate change…READ ON

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