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Supreme Court Reviews EPA’s Power Plant Mercury Rule; Decision Due in June

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) consideration of cost impacts when developing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, (MATS) which are set to go into effect next month. At issue in the case is whether the Clean Air Act requires the EPA…

The Azores: First Witness to Global Marine Plastic Pollution

Having left Bordeaux on March 15, the Race for Water Odyssey arrived in the Azores on Friday afternoon, the location of the expedition’s first scientific analyses. It is estimated that 80% of pollution in the ocean is plastic. This debris has devastating effects on marine ecosystems and, as a consequence, on human beings. Entanglement, lacerations,…

March 22, 2015: Understanding Wild Fires, Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Winter and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they hitch hike from Tasmania to London, study sleep’s science, count India’s tigers, protect the world’s oceans, hike the length of the Pacific Crest Trail in winter, cook the world, understand forest fires, study the real ingredients of processed foods.

Communities Leading the Way to Save Madagascar’s Mangroves

“About three years ago I noticed that the high tides were coming up into my rice fields, and taking the soil away with them. I’d never seen that before,” Philippe, a rice farmer from the village of Ambalahonko, tells me from under his wide-brimmed straw hat; something my fair-skinned and fine-haired self, unfortunately, did not…

Tracking a Group of Groupers

Guest post by Kristine Stump, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium The beautiful and iconic Nassau Grouper was once one of the most important fishery species in the wider Caribbean, but due to heavy over exploitation is now scarce in many coral reef ecosystems throughout its native region. As mesopredators, groupers play a vital role in maintaining…

First Rules for Arctic Drilling Released

The U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled the first draft rules for offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. The rules would require energy companies to clear a number of safety hurdles before being approved for drilling. “The Arctic has substantial oil and gas potential, and the U.S. has a longstanding interest in the…

Using Science to Empower Communities and Improve Marine Protected Areas in East Africa

By Jennifer O’Leary and Arthur Tuda When you think about East Africa, probably the first images that emerge are of large terrestrial animals like elephants and lions. Many people don’t know that East Africa has vibrant marine fishing communities and hundreds of miles of coral reefs. In a typical morning, you watch the sun rise…

Race for Water Odyssey against Plastic Pollution – The Countdown Begins

Less than one month from the big launch, the R4WO teams are putting the final touches on the expedition’s preparations. Technical details are adjusted, and bonds between team members grow stronger through training sessions in Lorient (France). Everything falls into place under optimal conditions before the trip to Bordeaux, R4WO’s first stop.   Final Tests:…

Fair Trade Writes New Chapter In Story of Tuna

  Tuna is the second most popular seafood in the United States, yet for most Americans, it’s a non-descript protein puck that inevitably gets mixed with mayonnaise and celery. Maybe the tuna in that can came from the Philippines, or Micronesia? Perhaps it was caught by a Japanese vessel and transferred to a processing plant…

Searching for the Fish That Built the Beach

Bumphead parrotfish are few and far between now, but their coral-chomping ancestors helped build the very beaches we sit on today.

Fluorescent Corals

This post is the last in the Click! Click! Click! Series which profiles interesting photographic moments that Kike captures during his travels.  This photograph shows the process known as fluorescence. Some organisms bioluminescent, like corals that absorb one color and emit another. This outgoing light is of a longer wavelength than the incoming. One form of energy is converted into another. If you like this…

Food Species Top the Latest Additions to The IUCN Red List

The IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia saw the release of the latest update to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ in front of a global audience of protected area professionals, conservationists, government representatives, and business leaders. These leaders consistently agreed that survival of many species depends on the conscious interaction between our…

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…

October 12, 2014: Fighting South Pole Frostbite, Bathing Elephants and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they survive frostbite on the frozen continent, explore Haiti’s marine culture, bathe an elephant, bobsled with British champions, dance with Birds of Paradise, learn the Secrets of the National Parks, and discover what has been hiding in Vietnam’s jungles.

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…