climate change, hurricanes, Ian, warnings and evacuations
Photo credit: NASA Johnson / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

Hurricane Ian’s Rapid intensification Is a Sign of the World to Come (Maria)

From Vox: “Forecasters have made big strides in figuring out where hurricanes will go. Storm track predictions that could only be made 24 hours in advance 20 years ago can now be issued 72 hours ahead. But it’s been tougher to anticipate how strong storms will get. … That’s because there are so many factors that influence the intensity of a storm, and they can change rapidly over time and space. Recall that rapid intensification occurs when hurricanes pass over areas with calm, warm waters. But it isn’t just how warm the ocean is at the surface; how deep the heat goes matters too.. … With a limited view of a hurricane’s potential intensity, it’s more difficult to issue warnings and evacuation orders.”

University of Idaho Told Faculty They Could Be Fired for Providing Condoms or Even Talking About Abortion (DonkeyHotey)

From Jezebel: “University of Idaho’s legal counsel told faculty members that if they provide birth control (including condoms) to students or even mention abortion in certain contexts, or they could be fired for violating the state’s new anti-abortion law. If faculty members do provide condoms, per the guidance, it must be ‘for the purpose of helping prevent the spread of STDs but not for purposes of birth control.’ In Idaho, as of last month, providing abortion is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The state’s ban explicitly describes abortion as ‘intentionally [killing] an unborn human being.’”

False Claims, Threats Fuel Poll Worker Sign-Ups for Midterms (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Outraged by false allegations of fraud against a Georgia elections employee in 2020, Amanda Rouser made a vow as she listened to the woman testify before Congress in June about the racist threats and harassment she faced. ‘I said that day to myself, “I’m going to go work in the polls, and I’m going to see what they’re going to do to me,”’ Rouser, who like the targeted employee is Black, recalled after stopping by a recruiting station for poll workers at Atlanta City Hall on a recent afternoon. ‘Try me, because I’m not scared of people.’”

Children Removed From Jewish Sect’s Jungle Compound in Mexico (Sue)

From the BBC: “Children and older teenagers have been removed from the jungle compound of a Jewish sect in Mexico following a raid by police, the BBC has learned. Two members of Lev Tahor were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and serious sexual offences, including rape, Israel’s foreign ministry said. A three-year-old child removed from the compound has been flown to Israel. Lev Tahor (Hebrew for Pure Heart) is known for extremist practices and imposing a strict regime on members.”

In California, a Race to Save the World’s Largest Trees From Megafires (Laura)

From Inside Climate News: “When the Washburn Fire burned through part of Yosemite’s iconic Mariposa Grove in July, photos of its famed giant sequoias steeped in smoke and surrounded by automated sprinklers to shelter them from the flames shocked viewers around the globe. Less than a year earlier, similar photos showed the trunk of the sequoia known as General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, wrapped in a tinfoil-like material to repel the flames of the KNP Complex Fire. Yet, while those efforts helped save the celebrity trees from the infernos, the annihilation elsewhere in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is difficult to grasp: The U.S. Forest Service estimates that, in 2020 and 2021 alone, wildfires killed 13 percent to 19 percent of the world’s giant sequoias.”

Pregnancy During Hurricane Sandy Linked to Kids’ Psychiatric Disorders, Study Says (Russ)

The author writes, “At the time Hurricane Sandy made landfall over New Jersey and inundated New York City in October 2012, Yoko Nomura, a psychology professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College, had already assembled a cohort of local pregnant women in preparation for a study about the impact of stress during pregnancy on their offspring’s development. As the storm hit, and the toll of its devastation became clear, Nomura realized she was uniquely positioned to investigate a more specific question: How would the stress of the natural disaster affect not only the pregnant women, but their children who were exposed to it while in utero?”

A Hidden Landscape We Can No Longer See May Explain the Mystery of the Pyramids (Mili)

The author writes, “Seeing the famed pyramids of Giza as they stand today — immovable, impenetrable fortresses surrounded by windswept sands and a sprawling metropolis — it’s hard to imagine the day they were built. These stone labyrinths, constructed to honor the dead and carry them into the afterlife, were erected around 4,500 years ago without modern technology and with astounding precision. But Egyptians needed a whole lot more than a few primitive ramps to ferry the hugely heavy stone blocks into position. A new study suggests favorable environmental conditions enabled the construction of the pyramids of Giza, with an ancient arm of the Nile River serving as a navigable conduit for freight transport.”


Comments are closed.