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White House Announces New Climate Change Initiatives

The White House on Wednesday announced executive actions to help states and communities build their resilience to more intense storms, high heat, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change. The actions, which involve several federal agencies, were among the recommendations by the president’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. “…Climate…

Late Monsoons and Agricultural Improvisation in Telangana, India

Dark clouds and the low rumble of thunder sprawled across the sky interrupting my interview transcriptions.  Finally, I thought.  The rains have come.  Since I arrived in late May, I’ve joined Telangana farmers in weeks of 100-110 degree weather.  Monsoon rains signal the beginning of the most important phase of agriculture, a welcome sign in…

Does Water Conservation Have To Be The Enemy Of Financial Stability?

Pricing is a powerful tool for shaping behavior, including water use. Recognizing the power of pricing, more water utilities are adopting water rates designed to encourage customers to conserve. These so-called “conservation rates” vary in form, but generally they increase the price per gallon of water the more water a customer uses. Across the country,…

Controversy at Cienega Creek: Water for Copper Mining and Streamflow?

The Empire Ranch entrance road transports its travelers from 21st century Sonoran Desert—scattered desert scrub, paved highways, speeding traffic, Border Patrol checkpoints, copper mine arguments—into a world of different dimensions. The sun is still bright in a cerulean sky, but the land has quietly opened up—a wide vista, grass waving in the breeze, a few cattle scattered over the rolling hills, and tall trees bunched along the distant stream.

Climate Change Joins Lions and Livestock in an Unlikely Partnership

In the coming years, climate change will transform the world in ways that we have not predicted. The king of the big cats has already survived two major periods of change, but with humans quickly taking over valuable grassland habitat, will they be able to survive another? On the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania, lions have…

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

The Quest For Sustainable Corn In Iowa

Ames, Iowa  – They don’t call it “The Corn State” for nothing. Within minutes of driving outside Des Moines, the landscape opens up. No hills. No buildings. Just farms. Sprawling farms, much of them planted with corn. And those tiny green shoots emerging last month from the dark rich soil represent a vast bounty. In…

The Australian Approach to Water Crisis: Work With Farmers

With water crises erupting in California, Texas, and the Colorado River Basin, state water managers throughout the western U.S. and our federal government could take some valuable lessons from the impressive progress made in Australia over the past decade. The Aussies have taken some giant leaps forward in their efforts to avert water shortages in…

Blind Hoosier Cavefish: Freshwater Species of the Week

As an Indiana Hoosier, I was thrilled to learn of this new species: the Hoosier cavefish (Amblyopsis hoosieri). Described this week, the Hoosier is the first species of cavefish to be named in the U.S. in 40 years, making its entry into the pantheon of known creatures even sweeter. The small, blind fish can grow…

The Unsung Heroes of the Colorado River Delta Pulse Flow

This spring, the gates were opened at Morelos Dam, the furthest downstream in a string of infrastructure along the Colorado River that store and divert water to people and industries throughout the basin.  Sitting approximately 100 river miles upstream of the Sea of Cortez, Morelos Dam has been the southern terminus of the Colorado River…

EPA Power Plant Rule Deadline Approaching

Next month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a proposed rule that sets the first-ever carbon emissions standards for the country’s existing power plants. The rule, to be announced by President Barack Obama, is rumored to include a phased approach leading to steeper emissions limits over time. Though little has formally come out about the rule,…

The Colorado River Flows to the Sea

This week, the Colorado River will be reunited with the sea – a destination it hasn’t seen in many years – thanks to the “pulse flow.” Scientists monitoring the flow expect the two waters to meet sometime tomorrow, during high tide, but it’s actually possible that the river reached the sea last week, as we…

May 11, 2014: Capturing the Spirit of Adventure, Saving Sea Turtles and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 – Adventurers who regularly push their limits of…

Federal Climate Assessment Report Pegs Climate Change as Culprit for Rising Temperatures, Seas

A new federal scientific report, out Tuesday, concluded that global warming is affecting the United States in profound ways and that human activity, namely the burning of fossil fuels, is the primary cause of warming over the past 50 years. Mandated by Congress and written by a federal advisory panel, the more than 800-page National Climate Assessment further says that the…

Fishing in the Gene Pool for New Species

  By Matthew Frank  One day last summer, Michael LeMoine, a Ph.D. candidate in fisheries biology at the University of Montana, carried a nondescript cardboard box into the Missoula FedEx office. Inside it was a jar of ethanol containing a single specimen of a new species of a type of fish called a sculpin. The…