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

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.

Ferguson fire near Yosemite harbinger of California's fire year ahead

The Ferguson fire continues to threaten Yosemite, as it more than doubled in size over the past few days. The hot and dry conditions that've made it difficult to tackle the blaze have been present across other parts of the state, hinting at a destructive fire year ahead for California.

California's rainy season was pretty dry. Here's what that means for you

While we had a lot of precipitation last year, this year has been below average. What does that mean for our water supplies, considering we're only a year removed from crippling drought?

Why SoCal's big, bad storm didn't live up to the hype

Before the storm made landfall earlier this week, it was forecast to dump 10 inches of rain in the Santa Barbara mountains. Where did all of that water go?

Why atmospheric rivers can be a blessing and a curse

Atmospheric rivers are a vital source of California's water supply, but they also can trigger mudslides given their often heavy rains.

California was in for one of the driest winters on record. Then March happened

By the end of February, it looked like the state was going to experience one of its driest winters ever. Then storms started to roll in. But will they be enough?

#SoCalSoCurious: Ask us anything about water in California!

Barring a "March Miracle" of rain and snow, this winter could be one of the warmest and driest on record — and that could mean drought.

Here's what that last storm did for California's water supply

Before last week's storm, this year's winter was on track to be the warmest and driest on record.

JPL is sending a giant ear into space to listen to the insides of Mars

For the first time, scientists are trying to get a snapshot of the Red Planet's interior, and they're doing it with the first landing probe to Mars in six years.