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Geography in the News: Polder Salvation

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Polder Salvation The effects of global warming and accompanying sea level rise are threatening many of the world’s lowland areas. Although most such lands do not have the resources to protect themselves, the polder regions of the Netherlands are examples of such efforts. Historically,…

Colorado Droughts, Wildfires, and Floods, Oh My!

September 16–The view from my window this morning in Boulder, Colorado, is gloomy.  Clouds hover over the mountains, reminding me of the storm we have weathered, and the dismal conditions here on the ground. Torrential rains swept through Colorado’s Front Range this past week, resulting in calamitous floods that continue to threaten lives, destroy property,…

Restoring Rivers by Restoring Flooding

The Army Corps of Engineers is making floods. It’s true.  I’ve seen them doing it.  They’ve been doing it for years.  And it’s a very good thing for fish, frogs, mussels, wetlands, and local communities that depend on the bounty of healthy river systems and estuaries for their livelihoods and economies. As part of a…

Fire and Rain: The One-Two Punch of Flooding After Blazes

The great balls of fire that leapt from treetop to treetop in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico earlier this summer, threatening the town of Los Alamos and a federal nuclear research laboratory, were apocalyptic enough.  They left behind a scorched landscape of dead trees, charred woods and blackened earth.  From June 26 until…

The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation

Will we ever heed the lessons of the futility of trying to manage the Mississippi? In The Mississippi And The Making of a Nation, a National Geographic book written by historians Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley ten years ago, the authors had some prescient things to say about the Mississippi and its floods.

Mississippi Floods Can Be Restrained With Natural Defenses

As the Mississippi River threatens to deliver devastating floods (again), it’s time to enlist wetlands to reduce future flood risks.

Reflections on the Floods Down Under

By Jordan Schaul As flooding continues to cripple Eastern Australia and take lives, I wonder what impact this natural disaster has had on the human-wildlife interface. The floods have now damaged and forced the evacuation of skyscrapers in Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city, but the untold destruction of rural areas and small towns and the…

Haiti’s Cycle of Calamity

Reporter William Wheeler talks with Haitians and aid workers about the fear of storms and the disastrous connection between cholera, charcoal, deforestation, and floods. By William Wheeler in Haiti This post is part of a special National Geographic news series and initiative on global water issues. Parched and dust-choked, Gonaives is the kind of town…

History’s Wake-up Call for the Greenhouse Century

In early December, as I motored away from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, I glimpsed a sign for the Hohokam Expressway. The road was named after the Hohokam culture that had thrived in south-central Arizona for more than 1,000 years–and then abruptly disappeared around 1450 A.D. As I proceeded to drive past countless…

Expect More Floods as Global Water Cycle Speeds Up

A new indicator has joined the century-long rise in temperature to signal that the planet’s climate is changing: the global water cycle is speeding up. Using satellite observations, NASA and university researchers have found that rivers and melting ice sheets delivered 18 percent more water to the oceans in 2006 than in 1994. The findings,…

Six Steps For Avoiding a Global Water Crisis

Colin Chartres, director of the 25-year-old International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and co-author of the new book Out of Water: From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World’s Water Problems talks to National Geographic News about how the planet can steer clear of budding water and food crises. In your new book, you…

To Keep an Eye on the Weather, NOAA GOES P

—Image courtesy NOAA Next week NASA will launch the latest in a series of satellites run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designed to track extreme weather events from space. Known as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES, each craft carries a letter designation until it arrives in orbit, when it is renamed…