Table of Contents Extreme Earth 2012

Discover Magazine's mission is to enable readers to lead richer lives by explaining and expanding their universe.  Each month we bring you in depth information and analysis from various topics ranging from technology and space to the living world we live in.
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Flaming tornadoes, stratospheric lightning, and 
clouds that look like alien invaders: Sometimes 
the boring old weather can get downright weird.

The tornadoes that recently swept through the Dallas Forth Worth area were a reminder of their destructive power. While the most sensible response might be to go as far away as possible from such things, atmospheric scientist Joshua Wurman runs right at them.
The enormous fault off the coast of the Pacific Northwest has been silent for three centuries. But after years of detective work, geologists have discovered that it can
 unleash mayhem on an epic scale.


The core of the Earth is only 1,800 miles 
away, but what goes on there is a deep-down mystery, says Caltech physicist David Stevenson.