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Geography in the News: Avalanche Warnings!

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Avalanche! Watch Out! “Avalanche!” is one of the most feared warnings in the world’s alpine regions. Roaring down steep mountain slopes at speeds sometimes exceeding 200 miles (322 km.) per hour, snow avalanches present enormous danger to anything in their paths. Heavy, late-November snowfalls…

Snowboarder Jeremy Jones Ventures to Earth’s Far Corners for Conservation

Elite athletes, like Jeremy, not only bring years of skill and expertise, but their celebrity can also provide an excellent platform from which to educate others on conservation issues.

Where will the polar bears go as the Arctic ice melts under their feet

The Arctic regions are home to a variety of wildlife, including polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Polar bears are generally solitary animals. At first glance, more than white, are cream-colored. In fact, the outer coat is hollow and translucent and perfectly fulfills its function of transmitting the sun’s heat to the base of the hair, where…

Click! Click! Click! The Blizzard

Geography in the News: Lake-Effect Snow

Lake-effect snow has finally arrived in the Midwest, as winter has finally arrived. This post explains the cause and geography of lake-effect snow events around the Great Lakes, with particular focus on Buffalo, NY.

Second “Monster” Face Sighted in Snow

  Last week we posted a photo from a reader of what looks like a face in the ice of a frozen creek in Washington State. Another reader, Katie Curnew, saw that post and emailed us the above image. Curnew told us via email, “My mom and I went for a snow hike with cameras…

“Snow Monster” Spotted in Mount Rainier Creek

  A National Geographic reader just sent us this curious photo, which we have been staring at longingly today, as we sweat through the longest heat wave on record in the nation’s capital. Half of the country is suffering through a drought, so it’s especially refreshing to gaze at such cool slopes. Gisela Taranovski, a…

Halloween Storm Freakiest Ever

If you can’t recall the last time such a bizarre snowstorm hit the northeastern U.S. in October, it’s not because your memory’s failing. The nor’easter that dumped snow from Virginia to Maine over the weekend—as much as 30 inches in some places—was something new.

Pac-Man on the Moon

Saturn’s moon Mimas must be a fan of 1980s pop culture. Not satisfied with being labeled the “Death Star moon,” Mimas has now decided to host an interplanetary game of Pac-Man. paku-paku, paku-paku Scientists working with NASA’s Cassini orbiter yesterday released the highest resolution heat map to date of daytime temperatures on the icy moon.…

Demystifying De-Icers

Since we are still under several feet of snow here at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, with more snow on the way, now is as good a time as any to talk about the chemicals used to de-ice the roads. The most commonly used, and least expensive, de-icing chemical is sodum chloride (or rock…

Tales of the Occult[ation]: Who Cleaned Up the Back Yard?

Don’t feel too bad for poor demoted Pluto—it and its fellow dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt seem to have found a mysterious cosmic Snow White to help clean house. A relatively recent project called the Taiwan-America Occultation Survey (TAOS) announced today that after about two years staring at the right parts of the sky,…

Let It Snow [on Mars]

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander has seen snow falling on the red planet! One of the probe’s atmospheric instruments detected ice crystals coming from clouds about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers ) above, although the flakes seem to have vaporized before they reached the ground. —Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Canadian Space Agency This probably isn’t a huge…