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Stormy Summer of 2005 Prompted Hurricane Forecast Improvements

Powerful Hurricane Wilma’s storm surge inundated the lower Florida Keys in October 2005. (Photo by Jeff Pinkus) The powerful hurricanes that prowled the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2005 prompted evacuation orders that sent millions of people from Houston to Key West scrambling for safety. The evacuations saved lives, but for people who…

Let’s Hack the Ocean!

“To know, to love, to protect” Jacques-Yves Cousteau By Pierre-Yves Cousteau Seventy percent of our planet is one connected ocean. It produces half the oxygen we breathe and feeds over three billion people. Today the ocean is at risk, losing biodiversity at an alarming rate due to pollution, overfishing, and climate change. The ocean’s temperatures…

It’s Official: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

Four independent global data sets registered 2014 as the warmest year on record, the Weather Channel reported, citing an annual review by international scientists sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The only major region of the world with below-average annual temperatures was Eastern…

Federal Court Finds Challenges to Clean Power Plan Premature

Legal challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan, which would limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act, came too early, according to a panel of federal judges. “Petitioners are champing at the bit to challenge EPA’s anticipated rule restricting carbon dioxide emissions from existing…

Celebrating New York’s Seascape on World Oceans Day

By Jon Forrest Dohlin

You may not think that the words “metropolis and “corals” belong in the same sentence. So you might be rather surprised to hear that beautiful deep-sea coral communities can be found lurking in the deep just a few hours’ boat ride from New York City, one of most urbanized settings in the world.

Blue Vision’s Wave of Activists

Ocean and Coastal advocates from across the nation and our blue world converged on Washington DC May 11-14 for an inspired week of action, education, citizen lobbying and celebration. Here’s a brief summary of what occurred at the 5th Blue Vision Summit and the 8th annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Following an all-day ‘Blue Mind’…

The Small Town Boy Who Charted a New Course for Our Oceans

As a North Carolina graduate student, Bill Hogarth remembers fishermen proudly hanging giant marlin high on the wharf at Morehead City so people could admire and photograph the prized catch. But after the crowds lost interest, it was Hogarth’s job to cut down the nearly half-ton behemoths and watch their lifeless bodies float out to…

Negotiations Heat Up in Closing Stages of UN Climate Change Conference

Optimism at the outset of the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference twentieth Conference of the Parties in Lima, Peru, has given way to the hard work of reaching high-level resolution prior to the December 2015 UN meeting in Paris. Among the challenges is disagreement about regular auditing of carbon emission pledges. The European Union…

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…

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…

Rule for Regulating Existing Power Plants under Fire

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on “EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants.” Debate about the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants has swirled since the rule’s release last month. Coal-heavy states and others have criticized both the…

Building on Success

In late fall of 2006, Congress came together to strengthen the primary law that governs our nation’s ocean fisheries—the Magnuson-Stevens Act, originally passed in 1976. A push from leaders on both sides of the aisle, combined with strong support from President George W. Bush, helped overcome political differences. Now the House Committee on Natural Resources…

Dead and Lost Boobies: Harbingers of a Growing El Niño?

Starving seabirds far from home may point to a brewing El Nino in the Pacific.

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management—Part IV

Protecting essential fish habitat: Homes and nurseries On May 29, the House Natural Resources Committee met to refine legislation reauthorizing and amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law that governs fishing in U.S. ocean waters. This is vital work: Our oceans are one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources. And…