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

Saturn's snow moon is coated in fresh powder — and possibly life

Saturn's sixth largest moon is a winter wonderland, always covered in a fresh layer of snow. If you had a spacesuit and gnarly set of skis, you might be good to go.

By 2100, SoCal could see average summer temps in triple digits

New studies predict heat waves and droughts will become more common as temperatures continue to rise. Rising seas are also likely swamp low-lying areas.

Air pollution deaths could rise with global temperatures

As temperatures rise and pollution increases, more people could suffer heart attacks, stroke, lung cancer and more diseases.

UCI uses stem cells as cancer-seeking missiles

Scientists say that they've come up with an approach to cancer that's less atomic bomb and more surgical strike, using stem cells.

What Cassini saw on Titan: 'Dunes of the Arabian desert' but made of water chips, not sand

It's so cold on Titan that its equator is nothing but dunes as far as the eye can see. But, they're not made of sand. They're made of little chips of water.

The little enzyme that could help fight global warming

Scientists from USC and Cal Tech have found that a certain enzyme can greatly speed up the process of transforming carbon dioxide into alkaline water.

We've made A LOT of plastic since 1950 — where is it now?

If you spread out all of the plastic ever manufactured in a pile that was ankle deep, it would cover an area of land roughly the size of Argentina, a researcher says.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot as you've never seen it before

The intimidating, swirling Great Red Spot, has captivated observers for ages. Now, we've got the closest images of it ever.

Cassini turns dangerous orbit to unlock Saturn's rings

All it takes is impact with something the size of a pebble to destroy delicate equipment, so Cassini had to protect herself.

Scientists think they've figured out how Zika got to Florida

No herd immunity, a large concentration of aedes aegypti mosquitoes and travel back and forth to Latin America were all likely contributors to the Zika outbreak in Florida.

How the Trump budget could affect NASA's JPL

If the budget passes as is, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will feel some cuts but gain some additional funds for planetary exploration.

Lucy Jones’s doomsday earthquake scenarios will terrify you — that’s the point

"If you are in the Coachella Valley, Don’t plan on getting to L.A. anytime after the earthquake, unless you have some way of flying."

Lake Tahoe’s future is murky — like its water

In the summer of 2016, the lake's water clarity declined by nearly a quarter. The culprit? Geoff Schladow says it's climate change

Cassini's quest: What a lonely probe is teaching us about Saturn

About 750 million miles away from home, after almost 20 years, one of NASA's oldest spacecrafts is approaching a fiery, but fitting end.

LA County struggles to shut down illegal pot shops

Throughout California there’s a rush for localities to establish rules for legal pot. But you don't need to look any further than L.A. County to see how things could potentially not work out.