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December 15, 2013: Paddling Through The World’s Biggest Rapids, Swimming in the World’s Coldest Oceans and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend, host Boyd Matson joins guests as they paddle the world’s biggest rapids, dive in the world’s coldest oceans (at both poles), and walk “Out of Eden,” chasing our early human ancestors to the ends of the Earth.

November 3, 2013: How to Survive an Avalanche, Following Family History Through Asia and More

Join host Boyd Matson, as we survive potentially disastrous avalanche, swim with manta rays in Mozambique, walk the length of Africa looking for water, and follow our family tree’s roots throughout Asia.

August 18, 2013: Saving Children in Ethiopia, Reigning In Our Sweet Tooth, and More

This week, we stop an ancient Ethiopian curse, then we explore Iran using century-old images, and finally, we power homes using gas from human waste.

Geography in the News: Ethiopia’s Dam Projects

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM ETHIOPIA’S CAPTURE OF THE BLUE NILE In addition to Egypt’s latest political turmoil, its government is extremely worried about Ethiopia’s newest dam on the headwaters of the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile is the leading source of water for the north-flowing Nile. Fears in…

Tribes Living in Historic ‘Cultural Crossroads’ of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley Endangered by Dam and Land Grabs.

It rises in Ethiopia’s Shewa Highlands, and flows for 760 kms through terraced hillsides, volcanic outcrops and fertile grasslands as far as the world’s greatest desert lake, Lake Turkana, in Kenya. The lower valley of the Omo River is believed by some historians to have been a cultural crossroads for thousands of years, where a…

Lip-Smacking Primate Hints at Speech Evolution

A rare Ethiopian primate called the gelada makes sounds like people—giving insights into the evolution of human speech.

Ethiopian Dam Threatens to Destroy Indigenous Livelihoods and the World’s Largest Desert Lake

Over the last century, the construction of big dams to generate power, supply water and control floods has unleashed a damaging cascade of social and environmental consequences – including the destruction of fisheries, subsistence farmlands, homes and communities. More than 470 million people around the world are estimated to be suffering from these and other…

A New, Genetically Distinct Lion Population is Found

In a twist on the Lion King’s “Circle of Life,” a group of researchers identified a population of genetically distinct lions—in a zoo. The finding came after an Addis Ababa zoo asked researchers in its sister city of Leipzig to help prove that their lions not only looked unusual, but were genetically unique. The finding…

Indigenous Peoples Needed to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change

  “Planning is not part of our culture. You just get up in the morning and do what you need to do for the day,” said Marilyn Wallace of the Kuku Nyungka ‘mob’ (aboriginal nation) in northern Queensland, Australia. “Bama,” people caring for their local territory, is an important part of aboriginal culture and identity,…

Young Explorer Films Violent Monkey Takeover

While studying the maternal behavior of gelada monkey females, NG Young Explorer Shayna Liberman had a front row seat to witness violent, hours-long dominance battles between males, which she caught in stills and video.

The Key to Addressing Climate Change – Indigenous Knowledge

We have the knowledge that can contribute to finding solutions to the crisis of climate change. But if you’re not prepared to listen, how can we communicate this to you? — Marcos Terena, Xané leader, Brazil. The precipitous rise in the world’s human population and humankind’s ever-increasing dependence on fossil fuel-based ways of living have…

New Hope for a Rare Bird in the Syrian Desert, Explorers Journal

A few years back, Gianluca Serra found a legendary bird thought extinct in Syria, with funds from National Geographic’s Committee for Research and Exploration. Now Serra is trying to forge a stable population of these ungainly creatures, with a little help from a prince and some first ladies. By Barbara Moffet Q: The northern bald…

African wild ass is the mother of donkeys, DNA shows

Genetic analysis proves that the African wild ass, which may be down to the last few hundred individuals, is the ancestor of modern donkeys. The same study by an international group of researchers suggests that a subspecies, the Nubian wild ass, thought to have vanished, might have survived after all. The critically endangered African wild ass–which…

Omo River dam threatens traditional farming and culture in Ethiopia

An ancient way of life that sustains 200,000 people will be lost if the Ethiopian Government can find the money to build a big new hydroelectric dam on the Omo River. This post is part of a special National Geographic news series on global water issues.  By Mark Angelo This past week, I returned from…

Can Uganda and Ethiopia act as Egypt’s “water bankers”?

This post is part of a special National Geographic news series on global water issues. I was standing inside a colonial-era circuit house in a sprawling, malarial city called Malakal in southern Sudan. I had come to see a man about a river, but the man, an Egyptian hydrologist, wasn’t talking. “It is forbidden,” he…