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Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods: A preview of life under global warming?

From our Science Desk (sometimes fondly known as “Nerd to Know”): What is it with mother nature? This week, not only did an earthquake rattle the nerves — and a bit more — of East Coast residents, but officials also began preparing for Hurricane Irene. Further down the coast all week long, the Carolinas were bracing for Irene, with evacuations and emergency personnel put on alert.

While Irene is the first hurricane threat of the season, mother nature has been wailing on the U.S. something fierce all year long. Tornadoes, floods and drought have all taken their toll — and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that those incidents — and the costs associated with them — are on the rise. Need to Know’s Win Rosenfeld has the story.

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.

  • Differing views on fracking's impact
    Studies conducted on the counties above the Marcellus and Barnett Shale for example — where extensive drilling has already taken place — present mixed economic results.
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    Too much solar energy?
    The proliferation of privately owned solar has large power companies in Germany worried.
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    Nominee has industry ties
    Energy secretary nominee had deep connections to industry, including as a paid adviser to BP until 2011.