Articles by Seth Borenstein

Report by 13 U.S. Agencies Warns of Dire Economic Effects from Climate Change

As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of disasters are worsening in the United States because of global warming. The White House report quietly issued Friday also …

Researchers: Houston Skyscrapers Slowed Hurricane Harvey, Causing More Rain

Humans helped make recent devastating U.S. hurricanes wetter but in different ways, two new studies find. Hurricane Harvey snagged on the skyscrapers of Houston, causing it to slow and dump more rain than it normally would, one study found. The …

U.S. Agencies Split Over Cell Phone Cancer Risk

Two U.S. government agencies are giving conflicting interpretations of a safety study on cell phone radiation: One says it causes cancer in rats. The other says there’s no reason for people to worry. No new research was issued but last …

As Tornadoes Shift Eastward, Scientists Explore Why

Over the past few decades tornadoes have been shifting — decreasing in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas but spinning up more in states along the Mississippi River and farther east, a new study shows. Scientists aren’t quite certain why. Tornado activity …

Fast, Furious: How Michael Became a 155mph Monster Hurricane

Moist air, warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, and ideal wind patterns supercharged Hurricane Michael in the hours before it smacked Florida’s Panhandle. Hurricane Michael was barely a hurricane Tuesday morning, with winds of 90 mph. A little over …

Florence was Second Wettest Storm in U.S., Behind Harvey

Hurricane Florence was the nation’s second rainiest storm in 70 years, a top rainfall meteorologist calculated. Only last year’s Hurricane Harvey rained more over a 14,000 square mile (36,260 square kilometers) area during a four-day time period, said Ken Kunkel, …

Florence Floods: Hurricane Rating System Fails to Account for Deadly Rain

When meteorologists downgraded Hurricane Florence from a powerful Category 4 storm to a Category 2 and then a Category 1, Wayne Mills figured he could stick it out. He regrets it. The Neuse River, normally 150 feet away, lapped near …

Tropical Cyclones Moving Slower Over Land: Study

A new study finds that tropical cyclones around the world are moving slightly slower over land and water, dumping more rain as they stall, just as Hurricane Harvey did last year. This isn’t about how powerful a storm’s winds are, …

Arctic Has Warmest Winter with Sea Ice at Record Lows: Weather Data

Winter at the top of the world wimped out this year. The Arctic just finished its warmest winter on record. And sea ice hit record lows for this time of year, with plenty of open water where ocean water normally …

Studies: Global Warming Tripled Likelihood of Harvey’s Deluge

Global warming’s fingerprints were all over the record rainfall from Hurricane Harvey this year, confirming what scientists suspected, according to new research discussed on Dec. 13 during the American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans. While scientists say man-made climate …