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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
This map shows the world's 20 biggest city areas in 2004. With 21,503,000 people, Mexico City is 3rd biggest.
Click on image for full size
Data courtesy of the World Gazetteer; illustration courtesy of Mike Shibao, UCAR.

Megacities

Have you ever played with Mega Bloks ©? They are big, chunky blocks! Or have you seen the megahit movie, Finding Nemo? Megahit means it was a really popular movie! When you put mega in front of a word – it means BIG!

Mexico City, where MILAGRO takes place, is a "megacity." A megacity is a BIG city! More exactly, a megacity has over 10 million people living in it.

When someone lives in an urban setting, he or she lives in a city. When someone lives in a rural setting, he or she lives out in the countryside. Do you live in an urban setting? Around the world, more people live in cities than do not. In 2000, the world had 411 cities that each had more than one million people.

People are moving from the countryside into cities in hopes of making more money in the cities. Sometimes cities can’t handle so many more people living there, resulting in too much growth and more pollution, too.

Last modified February 14, 2006 by Nicole Gordon.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF