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Tag archives for Pacific Ocean

Glowing in the Dark

“Radioactive Plume in the ocean” is the kind of headline that ensures people will pay attention to the news story that follows. 

Earth Day Opinion: Helping Coral Ecosystems Survive a Changing Climate

With corals across the globe bleaching due to advancing ocean temperatures, many of the world’s coral reef experts believe these centers of marine biodiversity may become the first casualty of climate change. But while the news on corals has been largely grim, it is not beyond hope.

The Bottom Line: Food Fit For a King

The annual arrival of spring chinook salmon to inland rivers makes March an eagerly anticipated time of year for fishermen and seafood lovers on the Pacific Coast. Anglers wait all year for the chance to land a hulking silvery chinook, commonly known as a king salmon, and consumers enjoy eating this tasty fish. When it…

Mystery Solved: Salmon Navigate Using Magnetic Field

There’s no place like home—and now scientists have figured out how salmon get there.

From Supizae to Taro to Ysabel

The Climate Challenger Voyage is a community initiative inspired by The Nature Conservancy’s Manuai Matawai, who dreamed of building a traditional long voyage canoe and sailing around the Pacific to connect communities grappling with climate change through culture and conservation Two years later, Manuai and nine other crew members—members of the Titan tribe of Papua New Guinea—are…

Galapagos Expedition Journal: Face to Face with Giant Tortoises

Some 250,000 giant tortoises once roamed the Galapagos islands. But taken for meat by pirates and whalers, their populations collapsed to near extinction. We visit the Charles Darwin Research Research Center to see how the giant tortoise has been restored, and we visit scores of wild tortoises in their natural habitat in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

Galapagos Expedition Journal: In the Footsteps of Charles Darwin

In 1835 Charles Darwin arrived on Floreana Island in the Galapagos, noting in his journal that it had long been frequented, first by buccaneers, latterly by whalers–and then political dissidents exiled from mainland South America. The giant tortoises Darwin saw on Floreana have since been extirpated from the island and the prisoners and pirates exist only in history. But the scenery he described remains much the same, and a tradition of leaving mail in a “post office barrel” for collection and delivery by passing ships has endured for two centuries.

An Ever Shifting Sea

For the last few days, fully inured to life-a-tilt and the complex movements of the sea, we have plied south and southwest winds to continue sailing west.  We’re 1,500 miles and 25 days out from California, with 900 miles and 12 days left at sea.  Within a day we plan to turn south toward Hawaii. …

Galapagos Expedition Journal: Arrival on the Enchanted Islands

Bewitched, enchanted, beguiling. Those are just some of the terms explorers across five centuries have used to describe the Galapagos, an unmatched archipelago of islands drifting in the vastness of the open ocean, in the middle of nowhere.

The Climate Challenger Voyage: The Journey Begins

The Climate Challenger Voyage is a community initiative inspired by The Nature Conservancy‘s Manuai Matawai, who dreamed of building a traditional long voyage canoe and sailing around the Pacific to connect communities grappling with climate change through culture and conservation. Two years later, Manuai and nine other crew members—members of the Titan tribe of Papua New Guinea—are…

Invasive Plastic Hitchhikers

We’re ten days and 690 nautical miles out from the nearest land in California.  In that time, we’ve conducted 21 net deployments to collect and analyze plastic.  We’ve counted a total of 3,190 pieces of plastic, most of it in the North Pacific subtropical gyre.  Here in this gigantic eddy-like “trap,” the concentration of floating…

Our Plastic Quarry and the Nets We Carry

Three days and almost 400 miles west of California, the rail is now free of slumped crew feeding the fish.  From my aft berth, I can hear the deck being scrubbed above. Even though we’ve passed beyond the shallow edge of the continental shelf, we’re still amid cold, northern currents.  With the exception of today’s…

August 19, 2012: Breaking World Records, Jamming to Rusted Root, and More

This week on “National Geographic Weekend,” join host Boyd Matson as we cycle around the world in 92 days, capture snow leopards in Afghanistan, meet Boyd’s radio doppelgangers, take the world’s temperature, send a touring jam band on their way, hike North America, sail across Melanesia navigating by the stars, and dig up China’s ethnically diverse history.

Sea Otters Slow Comeback May Be Tied to “Dietary Guilds”

California sea otters were nearly hunted to extinction until a treaty in 1911 banned the fur trade. Since then, the animals have made only a modest comeback, and one scientist thinks it may be due to specialized diets followed by different groups of otters. For all the latest science news, check out National Geographic Library’s…

Beluga Whales of Alaska’s Cook Inlet Listed as Endangered

Beluga whales in the Cook Inlet in Alaska have been listed as an endangered species, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today. “In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering,” said James Balsiger, acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. Photo courtesy NOAA