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Are Marine Protected Areas in the Right Places to Protect People, or Just Nature?

Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy I’m at the World Parks Congress, a-once-a-decade global meeting of scientists, protected area managers and other experts to focus on the state and future of national parks and nature reserves. There’s so much to talk about here—new science and technologies to monitor parks, ways to engage local…

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…

Climate Change Risks, Impacts Focus of Reports

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report warning that greenhouse gas levels are at the highest they have been in 800,000 years. “We have little time before the window of opportunity to stay within the 2C of warming closes,” said IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri. “To keep a…

EPA Refines Pollution Rules

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was told by a federal appeals court that it could move forward with implementing a program to curb air pollution that crosses state lines. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CASPR) would require 28 states to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by power plants.…

Ozone Focus of EPA’s Latest Rulemaking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that sets domestic production consumption limits for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)—eventually phasing them out completely by 2020. The rule aims to reduce emissions from leakage and stockpiles of four HCFCs, a class of refrigerant linked to ozone depletion and climate change. “This rule finalizes allowed amounts of HCFC…

U.S., Military to Plan More Strategically for Climate Change

Climate change is a “threat multiplier” and worse than many of the challenges the U.S. military is already grappling with, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The New York Times indicated that the report marks a departure from the DoD’s previous focus on preparing bases to adapt to climate…

Studies Focus on Warming of Oceans

Oceans absorb carbon dioxide and 90 percent of the heat caused by human activity—making their warming a critical topic for climate research. Two new studies—one on the upper oceans and one on deeper ocean depths—share findings about climate change’s effect on these water bodies. The first study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, provides the first estimate of…

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,…

Woods Hole Research Center responds to misleading NY Times op-ed on climate change

  Climate scientists everywhere reacted with stunned outrage  as word spread about an op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sept. 20, 2014 under the headline: “To Save The Planet, Don’t Plant Trees.” Operating on kernals of truth that distort and misinterpret far larger facts and realities about the role of forests — tropical…

You Cannot Save the Climate Without Trees

The People’s Climate March that trumpeted its way through the streets of Manhattan yesterday was led by communities on the front lines of climate change—and Indigenous Peoples were at the forefront of this group.  The tropical forests where they live are not only getting hammered by changing weather patterns, drug traffickers, invasive pests, and massive…

The Coral Triangle: Amazon of the Oceans

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan. I’ve been fortunate to see most of the world’s oceans the past couple…

The Cost of Fixing Climate Change

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions could boost the economy rather than slow it, according to a new study by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report finds that roughly $90 trillion will be spent in the next 15 years on new infrastructure around the world. Adopting rules that redirect that…

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…

“Extinct” Snail Found Alive—But for How Long?

“So I was wrong,” scientist says about extinction—but cautions the purple-and-pink mollusk is still perilously close to dying out.