Jacob Margolis

Science Reporter

Contact Jacob Margolis

From the consequences of climate change to the next Big One, the threat of another natural disaster is never far away. I help Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and get them prepared for what’s next.

Stories by Jacob Margolis

Officials emphasize the need to prepare for an awful 2019 fire season

Wildfires are coming and you need to get ready. That was the message state and local officials hammered home during a press conference earlier this month in Orange County, as part of Wildfire Preparedness week.

Calm Down, Rain In May Is Absolutely Normal

The roads are wet, the sky is grey and the air is humid. There’s water falling from above, IN MAY. Should everyone be freaking out? Not really.

Today's Storm Is A Bit Weird, But Calm Down, LA. May Rain Is Totally Normal

Do. Not. Panic.

Much like earthquakes, marsquakes can teach us about the interior of the planet

By analyzing how waves created by marsquakes travel through the interior of the red planet, scientists hope to better understand how it was created. That's what the InSight spacecraft was hoping for when the first-ever witnessed quake struck earlier this month.

Urban search and rescue workers practice responding to a big earthquake

Urban search and rescue workers from Los Angeles County and Fairfax, Virginia, met up in Castaic to practice how to respond to an earthquake. For 96 hours, they ran drills, including how to pull people from elevator shafts, collapsed parking structures and crushed cars.

LA's super green spring may pose a not-so-hidden danger

Plants are going to dry. How quickly that happens depends on how hot things get this spring and summer. And how long they stay dry depends on when our rainy season shows up.

California's rainy season is over. Here's how much our cup overfloweth

We now have a pretty good idea of how our water situation will look for the rest of the year.

Why's lightning so rare in L.A.?

Last night, residents of Ventura and Los Angeles counties got to experience their first thunderstorm in quite a while. If it's been raining so much, why haven't they come around more often?

Southern California has officially sloshed its way out of drought conditions

Unlike a few years ago, the precipitation we've been getting has been enough to make a serious difference in our water picture.

How to get ready for the next big earthquake. You asked, we answered

Another big quake is coming to Southern California. When it hits we want you to know what to do (and not do).

How a tweet about the Mars rover dying blew up on the internet and made people cry

"My battery is low and it's getting dark" is now the subject of memes, YouTube videos and T-shirts.

Opportunity is dead: JPL says RIP to the Mars rover

During its 15 years on Mars, the rover was tasked with solving a mystery about the planet — namely, whether it had liquid water, which could mean life.

Mars rover Opportunity's last chance at life

Last night, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, sent their final message to the Mars rover Opportunity, and unless they hear back it looks like the mission could be coming to an end after 15 years.

KPCC's newest podcast is out now

KPCC’s podcast The Big One is ready to stream. When the actual Big One hits, it’ll take less than two minutes for more than 10 million Southern Californians to lose internet, power and a sense of security. You’ll need a plan if you want to survive, and this podcast will help you get started.

Fire clouds loom above Cranston fire, threatening Idyllwild

High above the Cranston fire in Idyllwild, there are giant, dark, pyrocumulus clouds. While they might look like thunder clouds, they're not bringing rain. In fact, they're bringing strong winds and the threat of lightning.