The problem with (best part of?) reading science news is how much of it would make awesomely terrible (terribly awesome?) book plots. For example:
The First Sea Monster
Title needs some work, but set that baby loose on an unsuspecting* seaside town and/or freighter filled with illicit cargo and dangerous characters and let the magic** begin!
Prefer your disasters a little more global in scale? Well, no worries, Nature’s got you covered.
Supervolcanos are nice enough, if you like that sort of thing, though the action is kind of a one-off and it’s hard to sustain an entire story unless you can find a way of including Pierce Brosnan. Though I do like the idea of scientists cavalierly drilling into the top of an active volcano, unaware of the havoc they’re about to unleash. But maybe that’s just me.
Fungus could be interesting, but only if it’s like that one that infects ants, takes over their brains so they climb to a high point and then explodes its spores out of their heads. That’s a parasite with a sense of drama.
Solar flares have been done. A gamma burst is probably only going to be good if you want to set up a post-apocalypse situation, since there doesn’t seem to be anything to be done about it.
But underwater landslides? Now we’re talking. Especially if, let’s say, a megalomaniac tycoon had just built an ultra-luxury underwater hotel in a remote part of the south Pacific, and in his careless pursuit of profit triggered a small but deadly slide, and created the potential for a much larger one threatening the coast of, let’s say, Australia.
I think you can take it from there.
*As opposed to all those seaside towns that are constantly suspecting extinct underwater creatures.
** Where magic=decapitations.