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China’s Illegal Ivory Trade Escalating Out of Control

The illegal ivory trade is exploding in China, overwhelming efforts to enforce the law, according to the results of the first detailed research on the markets of Beijing and Shanghai since 2002.

IEA Unveils World Energy Outlook 2014: Looking Ahead to 2040

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2014 report, which for the first time provides energy trend projections through the year 2040. Among the key challenges in the next two and a half decades is, a 37 percent rise in global energy demand, driven mainly by emerging markets in Asia,…

U.S., China Reach Climate Deal

Two nations that account for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions reached a climate deal. The United States will accelerate the pace of its net greenhouse gas emissions reductions from 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 to 26–28 percent by 2025. China will increase the non-fossil fuel share of all its energy…

Has Demand for Rhino Horn Truly Dropped in Vietnam?

By Scott I. Roberton

Recently, the Humane Society International (HSI) and the Vietnam CITES Management Authority (MA) announced that in the last year there has been a 77 percent decrease in the number of people who buy or use rhino horn in Hanoi. If accurate, this finding is an incredibly promising sign of success. Nevertheless, the announcement was met with skepticism by many conservationists, demanding greater scrutiny of the findings.

Rare Snow Leopards Seen on Mount Everest

To celebrate International Snow Leopard Day, today, October 23, National Geographic Cat Watch is publishing two images from camera traps set up to document the elusive and seldom-seen big cat on Mount Everest. The Everest Snow Leopard Conservation Center is a partnership initiative of Vanke Foundation and Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Nature Reserve. The 34,000-square-kilometer (13,000-square-mile)…

Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

Putin’s Tiger – Caught in the Act!

By Zoe Jewell of Wildtrack  Last week Vladimir Putin released Kuzya, complete with electronic tracking device, but forgot to tell her she was to stay in Russia. Shortly after she swam across the freezing Amur river into China where she stopped for supper at a Chinese chicken farm take-away.  She left nothing but a few…

Studies Link Climate Change to Recent Extreme Weather Events

New research in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society finds that climate change influenced the majority of 16 extreme weather events in 2013. Specifically, it found evidence that climate change linked to human causes—particularly burning of fossil fuels—increased the odds of nine extreme events: amplifying temperature in China, Japan, Korea, Australia and Europe; intense rain in parts of the…

World Sees Some Tangible Outcomes from U.N. Climate Summit

World leaders gathered in New York this week for the United Nations Climate Summit, a meeting aimed at raising carbon reduction ambitions and mobilizing progress toward a global climate deal. In speeches at the summit, President Obama and other leaders recognized that countries across the world are feeling climate change effects, particularly extreme weather. “In America,…

Beijing and the Bicycle

The great bicycle rush every day in Beijing is iconic and recognized all over the world, yet bicycle culture is slowly being run over by rising car ownership, literally and metaphorically.

Political and Weather Climates are Changing, But at What Speed?

The weather in Washington, D.C. finally turned hot in September, just in time for Congress to resume. We enjoyed an unusually moderate summer this year, with many days topping out in the high seventies or low eighties. Plenty of sun. San Diego weather, you might say. Before September, we were missing about two full weeks…

Short Film Showcase: Would You Decorate Your Home With Human Hair?

Journey along China’s “hair highway” and see how human hair can be used as a renewable resource in an unexpected industry: home decor. This captivating short film by design collaborative Studio Swine and filmmaker Juriaan Booij provides a fascinating view into China’s billion-dollar hair trade and explores an array of exquisite objects created using human…

Geography in the News: China’s Fast Train to Tibet

  By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM China’s Ultimate Tourist Adventure In the summer of 2006, the Tibet’s “rooftop of the world” became more accessible with the opening of a new fast train connecting China with Tibet. Over the previous 50 years, China had envisioned a 1,233-mile (1,972-km) railroad route…

EPA Considering Lower Ozone Standard, Methane Strategy

In its Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards report—released Friday—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests revising the health-based national ambient air quality standard for ozone. “Staff concludes that it is appropriate in this review to consider a revised primary [ozone] standard level within the range of 70 ppb [parts…

Geography in the News: Worldwide Wheat Production

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Role of Wheat in Worldwide Agriculture Wheat is the principal grain used to make most breads and pastries. Grown mostly in the middle latitudes and Northern Hemisphere, annual wheat harvests are watched carefully. As the “staff of life” to multitudes, annual harvest assessments…