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Mapping Hundreds of Power Disruptions and Cyberattacks Caused by... Squirrels

January 17, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An electrified squirrel causing a black-out in your neighborhood is more than an unfortunate occurrence for all parties involved—it’s a regular event that happens much more often than you might think. Now, thanks to the work of an East Coast resident going by Cyber Squirrel, you can track the furry...

NASA Researchers: The Earth's Lakes Are Warming at a Disturbing Rate

December 17, 2015 You hear a lot about the problems posed by warming oceans: sea-level rise, habitat disruption, globe-spanning die-offs of coral. What you hear less of is how climate change is affecting the world’s lakes, though new researchsuggests we should start planning for this problem yesterday. Using satellite and ground data, researchers...

NOAA Maps the Warmest Days in America

September 9, 2015 America’s coasts are melting. California has posted weather warnings for temperatures as much as 20 degrees above average, and yesterday’s 97-degree heat in Manhattan demolished a 93-degree record that had stood since 1919. So with the sun turning cheeks the color of tomatoes and crotches into sweat swamps, it’s time...

NOAA Has Mapped a Desktop Model of Earth

September 8, 2015 For folks who got super-excited when Google Earth came out, here’s another 3-D model of the world with similarly awesome potential. It’s called the Science on a Sphere Explorer, and it lets you view tons of animated planetary data, from the age of the sea floor to the airborne migration...

NOAA Maps The Raging Future of American Wildfires

August 30, 2015 On the one hand, the warming atmosphere is predicted to drench many parts of the U.S. with extreme rain. On the other, for much of the year it’ll likely desiccate vast areas into brittle tinder, setting the stage for more frequent and powerful wildfires. Increasingly balmy temperatures and a steady...

Animation: Watch the Remarkable Expansion of American Obesity

August 18, 2015 The United States isn’t the world’s fattest country—that distinction goes to Tonga—but it’s up there, with two-thirds of its adults classified as overweight or obese. But it didn’t used to be so heavy, as evidenced in this animated map from Metrocosm’s Max Galka (the same guy behind that fascinating visualization...

More Than 143 Million Americans Are at Risk From Earthquakes

August 11, 2015 In 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey issued an alarming report saying more than 75 million Americans faced a “significant risk” from earthquakes. Among its warnings: The East Coast could be hit extra hard because of its dense populations and lack of retrofitted structures; catastrophic tsunamis might swamp Alaska and the...

A NOAA Weather Model Shows Animated Storms and City Lights

August 7, 2015 Though software engineer Cameron Beccario did it first with “Earth,” now NOAA has launched its own real-time wind model displayed over the gorgeous backdrop of the world at night. Or day—you can change the time to see current and future conditions, and even watch the sun line swoop across the...

A NASA Satellite Sees the 'Dark Side' of the Moon Crossing Earth

August 6, 2015 NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory only reached its orbit a million miles from Earth in June. But already it’s sending back stunning test images, the latest being these shots of the moon’s dark side—that potential future home of a lunar city—sliding across our world. The observatory, designed to monitor solar...

The Great Lakes Run Green With Toxic Ooze

August 4, 2015 From the sky, you’d be forgiven for thinking parts of the Great Lakes are growing grass. The algae blooms this year are so thick they look like well-fed lawns, albeit ones that could suck you down into the ooze and maybe poison your dog with algal toxins, to boot. (NASA/USGS)...