Will the World End on December 21st?

By U.S. Geological Survey Based on interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar, some people are predicting the world will end on December 21, 2012. Others believe that instead of doomsday and destruction, the day will mark a new era for humanity and will be a time for celebration. Such beliefs aside, what we know with certainty is that Earth has a tremendous capacity to generate natural disasters on any day of any year. For this reason, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists continue to look for ways to better forecast a wide range of natural hazards and protect our communities. Let’s take a closer look at the state of the science — what we know and what we don’t know — about our ability to forecast natural disasters.