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Drought Hastens Groundwater Depletion in the Texas Panhandle

Persistent drought in northwest Texas is leading farmers to pump more water from the Ogallala Aquifer, hastening the depletion of this crucial water supply. Over the last decade, from 2004-2014, average underground water levels across the 16-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) have dropped 8.83 feet (2.69 meters), with three counties seeing average…

A Tahitian Welcome for the Worldwide Voyage

The Worldwide Voyage received a colorful and memorable welcome to Tahiti, which Hōkūle‘a crew member Ana Yawaramai writes about from her own perspective.

Mysterious Fossils in 3D

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Pteridiniums are ancient organisms full of mystery—and those found in the Outback prove these life forms to be much older than previously thought.

Western Mediterranean Island Conservation

I am visiting the Iberian Peninsula this week en route to the 14th Rodens et Spatium conference in Portugal. Today in Valencia I am looking out over the Western Mediterranean basin. This area is steeped in human history, including upon its hundreds of islands. Romans colonised these parts over 2,000 years ago, and like everywhere…

Team “Uniting Nations” Wins 2,400-Mile Great Pacific Race

Winners of the inaugural Great Pacific Race, team Uniting Nations just arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, having contributed to marine research as they rowed more than 2,400 miles across the Pacific.

Places, Experiences and Objects to Dream About

This post is the first in the series Places, Experiences and Objects to Dream About, which profiles marvelous locations, unique life experiences and objects of interest to modern explorers that Kike discovers during his travels.   The idea for this new column came up as I was staring at a small fur seal puppy playing…

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #71

Woodpeckers, nutcrackers, flycatchers, sunbirds, roadrunners and babblers in this 71st Edition! Astonishing what can be achieved with a bit of patience, care and a passion for birds. Wild birds have become the subject of choice for thousands of photographers around the world. They extremely hard to photograph. You need the best equipment you have access to…

Poaching Crisis in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem

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 photo from iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton. UPDATE FROM THE FIELD: Paul Hilton and FKL Rangers Expose Wildlife Poaching in…

Breathtaking Destruction

Earlier this year, aerial photographer Alex MacLean invited me to survey the tar sands of northeast Alberta from the air with him. He’d reserved a plane, complete with pilot, at the diminutive airport of Fort McMurray, the de facto tar sands capital of Alberta. Alberta contains about 170 billion barrels of reasonably accessible oil, the…

We’re Seeing the End of Our Livelihood

Violet Clarke’s home sits virtually in the center of the vast Athabasca tar sands, a colossal deposit of extremely heavy crude oil in the western Canadian province of Alberta. She vaguely recalls seeing the gooey black stuff, which seeped naturally from the banks of the Athabasca River, during her childhood. Her father, a Cree Indian,…

Return of a Native: Reflections on the 38th Voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, July 11, 2014

By Patricia Paladines and Carl Safina The first whale was spotted at around 11am. We approached it with the quiet stealth afforded by a light wind in our sails. To the best of our knowledge the animal could not imagine or have any concern that a wooden whale-hunting ship was nearing its magnificent, enormous body.…

July 20, 2014 Radio Show: Making Music With Elephants, Running Hundreds of Miles Through Mountains and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend radio show we run ultramarathons through Nepal, Switzerland and Utah’s Rocky Mountains, then we save goliath, learn safety tips about the newest bacterial threat, making music with elephants, visit the world’s largest caverns, and find some secret cities.

Journey of the Sea Lion, Part One: Majesty of the Pacific Northwest

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall join the voyage of the National Geographic expedition vessel, the Sea Lion, to tour and discover some of the best that the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Northwest have to offer.

Climate Change Already Having Profound Impacts on Lakes in Europe

For perspective on how climate change is affecting lakes, those of us here in the U.S. can just look across the pond, where scientists and the agencies involved in meeting the European Union’s Water Framework Directive have amassed an impressive body of research on the topic. Not only are extreme weather events such as droughts…

Global Warming Boosting Reindeer on Norwegian Island—For Now

Reindeer on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago are bucking the trend and thriving, according to a long-term study.