Showing posts with label The Science Behind Natural Disasters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Science Behind Natural Disasters. Show all posts

August 24, 2012

20th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. This is a reminder that we should be ready at all times for all types of disasters. Hurricane season is great time to talk to students about being prepared and what to expect when disasters strike. Hurricanes: The Science Behind Killer Storms is part of our six-book series The Science Behind Natural Disasters.
Library Edition ISBN: 978-0-7660-2971-2
Grades 5–6

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August 29, 2011

Aftermath of Hurricane Irene

The Enslow home office is quiet today. Most people had a hard time getting to the office or couldn't even get here because of the roads. Others have flooded basements and damage from trees. Some of the rivers are still rising and overflowing their banks.

We made sure to lift computers off the ground on Friday as a precaution. The office itself is in good shape. Luckily our building does not have a second floor, but we do have a flat roof, which can be a problem.

It's after events like this, that I look for some interesting facts and tidbits to pull from Enslow books. I just read in Hurricanes that if a named storm causes a tremendous amount of damage, that name is then retired and will not be used again. Created by meteoroligists, the names list are common first names in the languages of the regions where the storms strike.

One of the chapters in the book has sub-headings of whipping winds, storm surges, heavy rains, and tornadoes. Each of those things occurred in every state that was hit by Irene, except Vermont.

August 24, 2011

3 Things You Didn't Know About Earthquakes

Many of us at Enslow Publishers end up with massive piles of books in our workspaces. When the earthquake hit, I was pleased to see that my own tower of books swayed from side to side, but did not collapse. In honor of this (relatively) unusual event, I would like to present you with:

3 Things You Didn't Know About Earthquakes!

Alvin Silverstein, Virginia Silverstein and Laura Silverstein Nunn

ISBN 978-0-7660-2975-0

1. There are two very different ways that Earthquakes are commonly measured: The Richter Scale and the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. The more familiar Righter Scale measures the energy released by an earthquake, while the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale measures the earthquake's effects, not its actual power. Any earthquake can have only one Richter scale rating, but it can have many Modified Mercalli Scale ratings: this is because a Mercalli Scale measurement can be given for any place where the effects of the earthquake was felt, while the Richter Scale measurement is only given for the earthquake itself.

2. The first seismograph, an instrument for detecting earthquakes, was invented in 132 A.D. by Chang Heng, a Chinese scholar. While modern seismographs can display the intensity of an earthquake's seismic waves, Chang Heng's seismograph would show an observer the direction that an earthquake came from. Chang Heng's seismograph consisted of a pendulum surrounded by eight dragon heads, each with a ball in its mouth. Each dragon head had a corresponding toad statue with an open mouth under it. When an earthquake hit, the pendulum would swing in the direction that the earthquake came from and knock a ball into the toad's mouth under it. An observer could see which toad statue had a ball in it and know that the earthquake came from the direction it pointed in.

3. Scientists are still unable to accurately predict earthquakes. While methods for measuring earthquakes have improved, and though the forces that cause earthquakes are well understood, there are still no methods for accurately predicting an earthquake.

If you'd like to know more about earthquakes, or many other natural disasters, check out our series: "The Science Behind Natural Disasters".

September 02, 2010

Here Comes Hurricane Earl!

With Hurricane Earl heading up the East Coast of the United States, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about these storms.

Hurricanes develop in the North Atlantic Ocean, the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Caribbean Sea. Typhoons are storms that develop in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, near Japan and the Philippines. Storms that develop near Australia and the Indian Ocean are called cyclones. These are all tropical cyclones, and are used to describe "any storm over the tropical oceans that spins in a circle around a center of low pressure." They are known by different names, depending on where they form.

Hurricanes: The Science Behind Killer Storms discusses Hurricane Katrina, explains how hurricanes are tracked, gives tips for staying safe during one of these storms, and more. This title is part of The Science Behind Natural Disasters series.