environment

EIA: Coal-Fired Electricity Generation, Coal Production to Decrease in 2018

A near record amount of coal-fired electricity is poised to go offline this year, according to recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Set to retire in the United States this year are some 13 gigawatts (GW) at more than a dozen units—that’s an amount second only to the nearly 15 GW of…

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FERC Rejects Proposed Grid Resiliency Rule, Issues New Order

The five members of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday unanimously rejected a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Department of Energy (DOE) to change its rules to help coal and nuclear plants in the electricity markets FERC oversees (subscription). Instead it opened a new proceeding in which it calls on regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system…

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Study Says Meeting Paris Agreement Goals Won’t Prevent Aridification

A study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that more than a quarter of Earth’s land will become significantly drier even if the world manages to limit warming to the Paris Agreement goal of less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Limiting the temperature rise to the agreement’s more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius could significantly reduce the amount of land affected….

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Trees in the Tundra

By Alix Morris, Earthwatch Institute Earthwatch scientists search for evidence of climate change in one of the most extraordinary places on the planet. Welcome to Churchill, Manitoba At the southern edge of the Arctic, in Canada’s Hudson Bay lowlands, lies Churchill, Manitoba – a small town that sits at the convergence of tundra, forest, freshwater,…

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China Announces Long-Awaited Carbon Market Plan

China, the world’s top polluter, unveiled plans for an emissions trading scheme on Tuesday. This carbon market, which would allow facilities to trade credits for the right to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases, would initially start with China’s power sector. It would include approximately 1,700 utilities that each emit more than 26,000 tons of carbon a year—adding up to more than 3 billion…

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Decisions on Nuclear Plant Construction, FERC Directive Could Affect Grid’s Generation Sources

Over the last decade, market upheavals and the technological advances underpinning them have placed pressure on existing electric generation units and driven deployment of non-baseload generation, creating significant uncertainty about existing business and regulatory models. This uncertainty calls into question the fate of nuclear. The Georgia Public Service Commission on Monday saidit will decide December 21 whether to…

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Wolf – Caribou Detente? Clues Hidden on Lake Superior Islands

A woodland caribou peers through spruce trees on Lake Superior’s Slate Islands. (Photograph: Andrew Silver) Qalipu, it’s called by Canada’s Mi’kmaq people. To others, it’s the elusive gray ghost of the far northern forest. Most know it simply as caribou. Woodland caribou are medium-sized members of the deer family. In Canadian provinces such as Ontario,…

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Air Pollution Now Top Environmental Health Risk

New analysis from the World Health Organization (WHO) links exposure to air pollution to roughly 7 million deaths annually. The report confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest environmental health risk. It estimates 4.3 million people died in 2012—mainly due to cooking inside with coal or wood stoves. Another 3.7 million died from outdoor pollution, including…

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Reports, Website Document Effects of and Need for Dialogue on Climate Change

Last year, carbon dioxide briefly passed the 400 parts per million milestone. Now, says Ralph Keeling of the Scripps Institution for Oceanography, we’re on track to “see values dwelling over 400 in April and May. It’s just a matter of time before it stays over 400 forever.” This pronouncement comes the same week the American Association for the…

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Streamers: A Win-Win for Seabirds and Fishermen

By Nicole Perman Until recently, it seemed as though the short-tailed albatross would not be able to escape extinction.  These endangered seabirds have been threatened first by hunting, and more recently by overfishing in the North Pacific and Bering Seas, and by their less-than-ideal primary breeding ground – a small volcanically active island called Tori-shima,…

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Why Adoption of the Medical Model Would Cure Conservation Impact Evaluation

By David Wilkie and Joshua Ginsberg Ninety-six elephants are illegally killed for their tusks in Africa each day, and in the last decade central Africa lost 62 percent of its forests elephants from poaching. We know this because, when we can, conservation organizations, governments, and enlightened donors monitor and report the changing status of target wildlife populations as…

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Budget Provides Blueprint for Climate, Energy Goals

President Barack Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal Tuesday, outlining his spending and policy priorities for the upcoming year. In it, President Obama earmarked funding for both his Climate Action Plan and Climate Resiliency Fund. The budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—the agency that released stricter fuel standards this week—represented a $309 million decrease from the current fiscal year budget. The nearly $8 billion…

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Jobs Go First, Then Recreation? Duke Energy’s N.C. Coal Ash Spill Spoils the Garden in Eden

Rockingham County promotes its rivers as economic revitalization; a massive, toxic spill threatens that effort EDEN, N.C. — Mark Bishopric doesn’t want to sound alarmist. However churned up he might feel inside about the coal ash spill in the Dan River, one of the worst in U.S. history and  just a few miles from his…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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