VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
By Lisa Palmer
Education is seen as a key tool for building resilience to climate change in the developing world. But new research shows that climate change could also make it harder to keep kids in school and ensure they get the best out of their time in the classroom.
Heather Randell, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, a research institute funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Maryland, studies the relationships between environmental change, development, and human health and wellbeing. Her research focuses on the social processes underlying migration, the links between development and rural livelihoods, and the social and health impacts of environmental change.
Frozen in time, Franz Josef Land is one of the last lingering remnants of the truly wild Arctic. The remote and nearly uninhabited 192-island archipelago is renowned for its biodiversity, which includes polar bears, walruses, bowhead whales, belugas, and narwhals. The intensifying impact of climate change, however, nearly turned this serene environment deadly for National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala and his crew.
Each year, during the dry season, a large swath of the African countryside goes up in flames. During two distinct seasons—October through March in the northern hemisphere, and June through November in the southern hemisphere—fires are set to clear land, remove dead and unwanted vegetation and drive grazing animals to less-preferred growing areas. This is called “biomass burning,” and Africa is responsible for an estimated 30 to 50 percent of the total amount burned globally each year. Biomass burning also occurs when fires start naturally (such as after a lightning strike on the savannah), but they’re rare. Worldwide, 90 percent of biomass burning can be attributed to humans.
Polar expeditions to explore the ocean are not for the faint of heart. Above the water’s surface, you better be on alert for polar bears. Below, you better be game for diving 60 feet under sea ice into freezing temperatures. Watch National Geographic grantee Branwen Williams lead a team to the Canadian Arctic to do both in an effort to better understand how our oceans and the climate are changing over time.
Distinguished environmental researchers, including National Geographic scientist Stuart Pimm, warn that ambiguity and lack of consensus among policy makers about the meaning of fundamental terms used to describe and measure human impacts on the planet could have disastrous consequences for management of the world’s ecosystems.
By Kathy Baughman McLeod, Managing Director, Coastal Risk & Resilience, The Nature Conservancy This week, I’m in South Florida with partners from local government, the private sector and the international community to highlight the vital role that nature plays in protecting people in Miami-Dade County and coastal communities around the world. Miami-Dade is one of…
“For me, it’s definitely worthwhile to live shorter, but intense,” says Vincent Colliard, a young explorer joining renowned polar explorer Børge Ousland in an endeavor to cross the world’s 20 largest glaciers. The ambitious 10-year journey is part of an effort to document climate change, an important mission for sure but one that regularly places the explorers in the path of danger.
Thousands of beluga whales congregate in Canada’s Cunningham Inlet each summer for what National Geographic Young Explorer and nature photographer Nansen Weber calls “a big beluga party.” Using a drone, Weber captures the breathtaking view from above.
Co-authored by Erica Cirino Dr. Jon Hare and his colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have just published the results of two years’ work: their first assessment of fish and shellfish species living along the New England coast. What Hare and his colleagues have found: climate change is expected to decimate the populations…