EPS 131 Disasters

We live in an uncertain world.  Hazards and risk are common.  The world is a complex system.  How can we understand and manage our exposure to hazards and risk?   How can we recover when the worst happens? The world wide web offers many new possibilities.  In this course, we will discuss a number of examples, drawn from the field of natural hazards -- earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and the like -- as well as hazards in other fields as time permits.

The Day the Dinosaurs Died

 

The New Yorker:  "If, on a certain evening about sixty-­six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched for an hour or two, the star would have seemed to grow in brightness, although it barely moved. That’s because it was not a star but an asteroid, and it was headed directly for Earth at about forty-five thousand miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid hit. The air in front was compressed and violently heated, and it blasted a hole through the…

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