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Paris Climate Talks: The 21st Time Must Be the Charm

We are issuing the Polar Bear Is Not Alone graphic today in support of efforts at COP21. Our graphic depicts how the polar bear, long the symbol warning us about climate change, is not alone. Joining the bear is a farmer in California, communities in Papua New Guinea, the migrating bar-tailed godwit, the quiver tree of Southern Africa, and other forms of life across the globe. Not only must we curtail carbon emissions to slow the rate of climate change; we need to help both wildlife and humans adapt to the impacts of change by ensuring the protection of functioning ecosystems and the services they provide that support all life on our planet. We must be emissions smart and adaptation sharp.

The world’s tropical forests should not fit in your grandmother’s attic

In Indonesia, forest fires have spiraled out of control throughout much of the country. These fires were started as a way to clear the forests and peat swamps and replace them with palm oil plantations and other agricultural development, but have spread far and wide because of abnormally dry conditions over the past few months.…

Under-the-Radar Environmental Stories for 2015: The Furtive Five

Between crazy weather, international events, and global agreements, 2014 was a year in which climate change took center stage. Whether it was a catastrophic drought in California, accelerated ice melting in Antarctica, or even record-breaking heat disrupting the Australian Open, the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world—and people are starting to…

Despite Dominance of Syria Debate, Environmental Policies Make Headway

Disagreements over the Syrian chemical weapons crisis didn’t stop leaders from reaching a consensus to phase down production and consumption of refrigerant greenhouse gases and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies at the G-20 Summit in Russia. The world’s top greenhouse gas emitters—the U.S. and China—agreed to set up a contact group to explore specific issues related to…

Old Growth Rainforest—What Still Stands is More Valuable Than Ever

No matter where I have traveled in the world, I have found that the many of the larger stretches of primeval forests can only be reached by logging roads. Consider the old growth stands of Sitka spruce and red cedar in the Carmanah Valley, on a remote part of southeast Vancouver Island.  Canada’s tallest tree,…

The Greenest Ways to Get Around

Note: In response to reader feedback on this post, the makers of the infographic below updated it and resent us a copy, so we reposted it at 2:52 PM on May 7, 2013. The infographic was not created by National Geographic. You’ve probably heard by now that how you get around has a big impact…

New Pictures of Auroras — on Saturn!

As if having the most impressive rings in the solar system isn’t enough, Saturn also boasts some of the shiniest “footwear”—just check out new shots of the planet’s southern auroras: —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester This quartet of candy-colored pictures comes from NASA’s Cassini orbiter, which carries a nifty tool that can collect…