Megan Sever

Megan Sever is a freelance science editor and writer based in Portland, Oregon.

All Stories by Megan Sever

  1. A photo of a yellow pasture with and farm in the distance. Behind the buildings heavy dark smoke clouds fill the sky
    Health & Medicine

    Western wildfires’ health risks extend across the country

    As western wildfires become more common, hazardous smoke is sending people — especially children — to emergency rooms on the East Coast.

  2. illustration of several types of dinosaurs exploring a habitat with a lake and trees amid rain

    A volcano-induced rainy period made Earth’s climate dinosaur-friendly

    New physical evidence links eruptions 234 million to 232 million years ago to climate changes that let dinosaurs start their climb to dominance.

  3. aspen trees burning in a prescribed burn at Fishlake National Forest

    Wildfires launch microbes into the air. How big of a health risk is that?

    How does wildfire smoke move bacteria and fungi — and what harm might they do to people when they get there?

  4. a home burning in the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire

    Plastic drinking water pipes exposed to high heat can leak hazardous chemicals

    Lab tests exposing commonly used water pipes to wildfire-like heat show damaged pipes can leach the carcinogen benzene and other chemicals.

  5. firefighter in California wildfires

    Technology and natural hazards clash to create ‘natech’ disasters

    Hurricanes, wildfires and nature’s other extreme events are increasingly causing damage to infrastructure crucial for safety and communication.

  6. a handful of invasive Asian jumping worms

    Invasive jumping worms damage U.S. soil and threaten forests

    Also known as snake worms, these writhing wrigglers turn forest leaf litter into bare ground, changing soil composition and ecosystems as they go.

  7. Earth about to be hit by asteroid

    An asteroid impact, not volcanism, may have made Earth unlivable for dinosaurs

    New simulations add to growing evidence that an asteroid strike, rather than the Deccan Traps eruptions, caused the end-Cretaceous extinction.

  8. Indonesia forest

    How giving cash to poor families may also save trees in Indonesia

    Indonesia’s poverty reduction program also reduced deforestation by 30 percent, researchers say.

  9. Kilauea volcano

    Did heavy rain trigger Kilauea’s eruption? It’s complicated

    A study suggests the Hawaiian volcano’s outpouring of lava was triggered by heavy rainfall in the months preceding. But some scientists are skeptical.

  10. flooded street

    Economic costs of rising seas will be steeper than we thought, unless we prepare

    A study estimates 4 percent in annual global GDP losses by 2100 due to sea level rise, unless people curb emissions and prepare for flood risks.

  11. Pyrocumulonimbus clouds

    The worst wildfires can send smoke high enough to affect the ozone layer

    Pyrocumulonimbus clouds can send soot and other damaging particles 23 kilometers into the air