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All-Night Senate Session Focuses on Climate Change

In the last 100 years, senators have held all-night sessions 35 times on everything from the Civil Rights Act to the Iraq War. This week, climate change made the list as number 36. The more than 14-hour session, which began Monday night, was organized by the Climate Action Task Force. Dubbed an avenue to voice concerns over the issue that has…

Mauritius: Charting the Future of an African Outlier

Travels across the South Indian Ocean can be nicely punctuated with an exotic stopover on the small island state of Mauritius. The country boasts a fine airline which flies regularly to Australia and connects to various destinations on the African continent with which it shares geopolitical allegiances, including membership in the African Union. In January…

Budget Provides Blueprint for Climate, Energy Goals

President Barack Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal Tuesday, outlining his spending and policy priorities for the upcoming year. In it, President Obama earmarked funding for both his Climate Action Plan and Climate Resiliency Fund. The budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—the agency that released stricter fuel standards this week—represented a $309 million decrease from the current fiscal year budget. The nearly $8 billion…

Expert Voices: Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC

How megacities are becoming central players in the fight against climate change In November 2012, superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast, claiming dozens of lives and causing billions in damages to the US economy. Lower Manhattan at night, otherwise a hub of around the clock activity, was dark, silent, and flooded. That image, reminiscent…

Before the Next Storm: Helping People and Nature Adapt

By Vera Agostini, Senior Marine Scientist, The Nature Conservancy Major hurricanes like Sandy (New Jersey in 2012) and Ivan (Eastern Caribbean in 2004) and Typhoon Haiyan (the Philippines 2013) make global headlines as they hit coastal communities, appropriately drawing attention to the human, financial, and community losses. While some smaller communities may not make global…

Supreme Court Divided After Hearing on EPA Authority

In a hearing Monday, the Supreme Court questioned whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is correct in its interpretation that regulating greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles triggers the requirement to also implement permitting requirements for large stationary sources. At issue is the legality of EPA’s interpretation of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations. Industry groups argue that the PSD…

Women-Powered Science & Exploration

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish founded Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit organization connecting outdoor adventurers with scientists in need of data from the field. He also organizes his own expeditions, contributing to research on wildlife-human interaction, fragmented habitats, and threatened species.  —- Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) is dedicated to connecting passionate adventure athletes and…

Keeping Island Biodiversity Afloat

Islands are rightfully a major focus of conservation investment. Some of the world’s most endangered species have been moved to islands, where they can be more easily monitored and are safe from threats. Invasive species can be completely removed from islands using precision eradication operations, allowing the original inhabitants of islands to flourish once again.…

Kids in India Come Together to Save Tigers

In part three of a 12-part tiger series, Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup learn about an organization that’s encouraging kids to care about tigers and the environment.

Tougher Efficiency Standards Ordered for Large Trucks

President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his administration will begin developing tougher fuel standards for the nation’s fleet of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The new standards will build on a 2011 regulation that set the first-ever fuel standards for model years 2014–18. The next phase—for models beyond 2018—will be proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department’s…

Guidelines Issued for Diesel Fuel Used in Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidelines on the use of diesel fuel in oil and gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a method that involves pumping water containing chemicals into shale formations to unlock trapped energy resources. The EPA defines five substances as diesel variations and outlines guidelines and “technical recommendations” for their use.…

Meet the Animals Behind the Mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympics

Organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have picked the leopard, the hare, and the polar to represent the Games as mascots.

Keystone XL Assessment Report Finds No Significant Environmental Objections

The State Department issued its final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL pipeline, which echoed findings in previous analyses that the pipeline would lead to no substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions. It found that approximately 147-168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide would be created by producing, refining and burning the pipeline’s oil. The report’s release kicks off a 30-day…

Corridors to Survival: Charting a Path to Combat Climate Change in the Tropics

New findings from Woods Hole Research Center scientists use satellite data to recommend habitat corridors between protected areas in the tropics to promote long-term conservation. The concept of habitat corridors in conservation has been around for a while. It’s a topic at global climate talks and an issue for NGOs eager to create pathways for…

Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows Will Shine Spotlight on Critical World Issues

The Department of State and National Geographic share a common interest in ensuring that individuals throughout the world have access to information that serves to break down barriers between people, said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan in her remarks at the official signing event of the new Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. The inaugural fellows will “will shine a spotlight on critical world issues that serve as the themes of this year’s Digital Storytelling program: Biodiversity, Cities, Cultures, Disasters, Energy, Food, Oceans, and Water.”