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Last Ice Area Expedition Launches

Climate projections forecast the total disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic by 2040, with the exception of one place: the “last ice area,” north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Nunavut. This area will likely harbor the largest concentration of Arctic wildlife that depends on the sea ice edge for survival, including bowhead…

Hope for the Future of Curaçao’s Coral Reefs

Curaçao is one of the most culturally vibrant places I’ve been – a melting pot of the Caribbean. Papiamentu, the local dialect, reflects this diversity with its inclusion of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and African languages.  Underwater, Curaçao is similarly diverse and vibrant, with one of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean. But, as…

Fisherman Finds a Way to Help Sea Animals Avoid Needless Death on Hooks

Tim Palmer was the kind of kid who took apart anything his parents gave him and then tried to put it back together. Much of the time, he got it right. Palmer never grew out of that curiosity about how things work—or how they could be improved. So one night off the Florida coast in…

CSU Forecasters Expect Below-Average Hurricane Season

Meteorologists at Colorado State University think cooler ocean waters and the formation of a phenomenon known as El Niño will make the 2015 hurricane season much quieter than usual. The CSU preseason forecast released today predicts seven named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic Basin — which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean…

Creating a ‘Lei of Hope’ for the World’s Oceans

Oceans are not too big to fail, says National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle. Can one boat’s journey send that message?

Swimming Among Pilot Whales in the Far North

We are not yet in Greenland, nor are we near Canada. We’re right smack dab in the middle of Davis Straight. The water is nearly 9,000 feet deep and I’m suited up like an astronaut.

Scientists Witness Spectacular Flood Into the Red Sea

Somebody call Moses. Researchers have witnessed a remarkable Red Sea flood of their own.

Americans Compete With Asian Local Markets For Blue Crab

Last week, I traveled to Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam to learn about the Vietnamese blue swimming crab fishery. Since 2009 a cross-sector partnership of government agencies, exporters, and WWF-Vietnam have been dealing with contentious issues related to the sustainability of this stock. In discussions with this coalition, I was struck by the contrast…

7 Photos of Diving Among Humpbacks in Tonga

Every year, humpback whales travel some 5,000 miles from the cold waters of Antarctica where they feed to the warm waters of Tonga where they give birth and rest.

In the Agulhas

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. March 27, 2015 – The Agulhas current flows down the east coast of Africa from the north. It’s described as “narrow, swift, and strong” on our briefing material aboard National Geographic Orion. As it reaches the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas (Cape of…

Feeling the Ocean’s Beating Heart

In one single heartbeat, one immeasurably powerful pulse, the Indian Ocean has changed my life: On this expedition I had the most moving and beautiful dive. Moving—because we were riding the high-speed incoming spring tide that courses through Grande Passe, the main pass from the open sea into the Aldabra lagoon. At the turn of…

Your plastic is getting to the Caribbean more often than you are, and it’s spoiling your next visit

Who left their trash behind on this remote Caribbean island? Then I realized. It wasn’t left. It arrived. An endless flotilla of refuse heedlessly sent from afar. It’s heartbreaking. The image of a lone bottle washing up on a remote tropical island is the clichéd stuff of literature, movies and New Yorker cartoons. But what…

Palau’s Reefs: Journey from Destruction to Recovery

Written by Alison Barrat and Andy Bruckner On a scientific expedition to Palau this January we saw thriving coral reefs that contained many species of large, healthy corals, and only a few miles away we found desolate looking reefs that had virtually no coral at all. Our science team recorded conditions that were optimal for…

Great White Sharks of Gansbaai: No Hooking, No Handling, No Harm

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. March 23, 2015 – As we began our cruise up the southeast coast of Africa aboard the ship National Geographic Orion, we departed Cape Town, South Africa. Several of us spent the day on an outing with Marine Dynamics out of Gansbaai to see…

The Azores: First Witness to Global Marine Plastic Pollution

Having left Bordeaux on March 15, the Race for Water Odyssey arrived in the Azores on Friday afternoon, the location of the expedition’s first scientific analyses. It is estimated that 80% of pollution in the ocean is plastic. This debris has devastating effects on marine ecosystems and, as a consequence, on human beings. Entanglement, lacerations,…