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U.N. Report: Carbon Dioxide Levels at Record Highs

The concentration and the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere are spiking, according to new analysis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Scientists believe the record levels are not only the result of emissions but also of plants and oceans’ inability to absorb the excess amounts of CO2. “We know without any doubt that our climate…

Unusual Encounters: Sea Turtles Roaming Off Los Angeles

“Balloon straight ahead” one of my researchers tells the captain while leaning forward from the bow of our boat. We are so accustomed to find plastic debris during our dolphin surveys off Los Angeles, California, that a party balloon is the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when we come across something round-shaped floating…

EPA Considering Lower Ozone Standard, Methane Strategy

In its Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards report—released Friday—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests revising the health-based national ambient air quality standard for ozone. “Staff concludes that it is appropriate in this review to consider a revised primary [ozone] standard level within the range of 70 ppb [parts…

Watch: Surfing Goat and 5 Other Animals That Catch Waves

A surfing goat has inspired its own YouTube channel and children’s book, but it’s not the only pet that’s been trained to catch waves.

Whale Encounters in Arctic Svalbard

We did not see the rare bowhead whale during our week-long cruise through Svalbard early in the summer of 2014, but our ship, National Geographic Explorer, had some dramatic encounters with humpbacks, and there were also excellent sightings of fin whales and belugas.

Obama May Use Executive Power to Forge International Climate Change Deal as U.N. Draft Report Paints Stark Climate Picture

A leaked draft of a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that global warming is already affecting all continents and that additional pollution from heat-trapping gases will worsen the situation. “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the…

Social-Ecological Marine Restoration: A New Vision of Benefits for Nature – And People

The sea goldie (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) a small species of colourful fish. It is a common sight to scuba divers in the Indian Ocean. Credit: Assaf Zvuloni By Dr. Michael Beck, lead marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy Location Post: The Gulf of Aqaba. Red Sea reef restoration projects. Last month, I dove on some amazing reef…

Why Are Jellyfish Swarming This Summer?

Swarms of jellyfish that have appeared recently in the Pacific Northwest and the United Kingdom are not unusual, but may signal an ocean out of balance, experts say.

The Global Status of Sharks

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” While he was talking about piracy and salvage in the Florida Keys, there is an ecological attractiveness in this statement that…

Pristine Seas: Southern Line Islands Set Bar for Healthy Reefs Everywhere

The waters around the southern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean are home to some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world. The government of Kiribati recently declared a 12-nautical-mile fishing exclusion zone around each of the five islands, thanks in part to the efforts of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative and Explorer-in-Residence Enric…

Short Film Showcase: Underwater Filmmaker Faces Off With Sharks

Underwater filmmaker and artist Joe Romeiro saw his first shark when he was five, and he’s been hooked ever since. In a short portrait with extraordinary close-ups of sharks underwater, filmmakers Jon Betz and Matt Weiss capture Joe in action, filming and sketching the predator that has fascinated him since childhood. We asked Jon and Matt to share a bit more about what drew them to this collaboration.

Two-Headed Dolphin Is Super Rare

A dead two-headed dolphin that washed ashore this week in Turkey is only the fifth-known case of conjoined twins in dolphins, experts say.

Watch: Very Rare Calico Lobster Caught in New Hampshire

You could call it a lucky catch: A fisher recently captured an extremely rare “calico” lobster in Maine.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: “Stiletto” Snakes, Cat Purrs

Why does your cat purr? What’s a stiletto snake? Check out this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay: When Partnerships Work

By Bob Vanasse Too often, environmental groups, regulators and fishermen find themselves cast in antagonistic roles on marine issues. Prolonged legal and regulatory battles frequently top headlines, while successful conservation partnerships go unheralded. The Chesapeake Bay, long plagued by problems like pollution and runoff, is benefitting from one such partnership. Regional fishermen, government agencies and environmental…