Category archives for Environment
Budding photographers can enter pictures in a contest to raise awareness of environmental issues. Kids ages 17 and under can enter the Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest 2012! This contest was created by IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) along with the photographer and National Geographic photographer and humanitarian Reza.
Entries must be received by September 15.
Did you know that 71 percent of the Earth is covered by either seas or oceans and they help feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen that we breathe? This Friday, June 8, you can join aquariums and zoos around the world to celebrate World Oceans Day.
If you can’t visit your local aquarium or zoo in person, you can still participate by visiting the World Oceans Day website and pledge your commitment to keeping the oceans clean and healthy for the future.
How will you celebrate World Oceans Day?
Individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world participated in Earth Hour on March 31. This global observance is held to demonstrate how much we can do to cut back power use and stop climate change if we all work together. Participants shut off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, causing a wave of darkness to sweep across the Earth’s 25 time zones.
The next Earth Hour will be on March 30, 2013.
Photograph by Jorge Sierra, WWF Spain
Did you know that kids living in the U.S. spend 50% less time outdoors than kids did 20 years ago? Forests are great places to have outdoor adventures, spend time with your family, and learn about nature. You never know what you’ll discover. Grab your parents and tell them you want to go on an outdoor adventure this weekend.
National Get Outdoors Day is on June 11. What will you do outside to celebrate?
Getting outdoors doesn’t have to mean a long trip. Find out how to go camping in your own backyard on National Geographic Kids.
Image courtesy USDA Forest Service and The Ad Council
Today, June 8, is World Oceans Day. It’s a global celebration of the ocean and its creatures. The ocean is important to all of us. Are you doing anything to celebrate World Oceans day? What does the ocean mean to you? Leave a comment and let us know!
Photograph by Gary Brennand, Your Shot
The tamarisk tree was brought to the United States in the 1800s as a decorative tree, and it was also used to help stabilize the soil on rivers. The tree has thrived in the southwest, crowding out native trees. For many years, biologists have removed the invasive trees by digging them up or using herbicides In 2001, land managers began releasing imported salt cedar leaf beetles in an attempt to help stop the spread of the trees (tamarisk trees are also called salt cedars).
The beetles are doing their job more effectively than expected and have migrated up to 100 miles away from where they were released. Scientists are now concerned that species that have gotten used to the tamarisk trees may have trouble adjusting when the trees are gone. One example of this is the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, which prefers nesting in tamarisk trees even when there are other native trees available.
Iggy Arbuckle has tried a similar trick to eliminate invasive species in the Kookamunga! Watch the video on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic
One year ago, on April 20, 2010, an oil rig called Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill that started with the explosion was the worst in U.S. history. A year after the disaster, the Gulf appears to be bouncing back–at least on the surface. Many animal populations were affected by the oil, and there is still oil in the depths of the Gulf, even if it cannot be seen on the surface. However, scientists warn that the true scope and lasting effects of the oil spill won’t be known for a long time.
Photograph courtesy Stephen Lehmann, U.S. Coast Guard
Planet Earth has gotten windier over the last 20 years, according to a new study. Scientists looked at satellite wind measurements going back to 1985 and learned that winds have increased by about 5 percent. Very strong winds caused by storms have increased by 10 percent during the same time period. Study leader Ian Young says that it is not yet clear if our windier world is a result of global warming, or if it is a result of a cyclical pattern.
Photograph by Norbert Rosing, National Geographic
Geography Awareness Week is being celebrated from November 14 to 20 this year. The focus on 2010′s Geography Awareness Week is on fresh water. The Geography Awareness Week website is full of facts, quizzes, and other features you can explore to learn about fresh water on Earth.
Geography Awareness Week was created in 1978 as a time for families and classrooms to promote geography literacy. Is your class doing anything special to learn more about geography this week?
Visit the Geography Awareness Week page on My Wonderful World.
Are you a geo-whiz? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Is your class looking for a green project to do together? Tell your teacher about the Find Your Footprint contest! Your classroom can choose one of three categories: Save Water, Reduce Waste, or Save Energy. Your class must think of a way to reduce your school’s footprint in one of these areas, and create a description of your proposal. The winning classroom or school will get some pretty cool prizes, including five Promethean ActivBoards and $1000 worth of National Geographic books.
All entries must be received by December 3, 2010, so go green and get going!
Want to find out how big your family’s water footprint is? Grab Mom or Dad and check out the Water Footprint Calculator.
Image Source / Getty Images
Have you ever thought about how much water you and your family use each day? Grab your mom or dad and find out your water footprint using the National Geographic water calculator! You can also compare your family’s water usage to other people in your area, and pledge to reduce your water footprint.
Check out the water footprint calculator on National Geographic.
Learn more about conserving resources on National Geographic Kids.
Eleven-year-old Sam Atkin, also known as the Shark Scientist, traveled to the TEDxOilSpill conference in Washington, D.C. last week to hear people such as National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence Sylvia Earle speak about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. NGKids News Bites asked him some questions about the conference.
News Bites: What are you hoping to accomplish by attending the event?
Sam: When I try to figure out a solution to the gulf oil spill, one problem leads to another and I get overwhelmed. I know there are going to be a lot of scientists at the conference and I’m hoping to witness a solution in the making with my video camera. My goal is to understand the problem better and share what I learn in Shark Scientist Magazine [Sam's blog].
News Bites: What can kids to do help with the oil spill?
Sam: I think it would be dangerous for kids to work physically with the oil. We don’t have the judgment and skills of the adults to handle hazardous materials. However, kids in the area can learn about the problem and bring what they know to school. By doing reports and projects about the problem, they can interest friends who have not done the research but are still interested in knowing more. Since that work doesn’t depend on your location, it can be done by kids far and wide. I think the kids in the gulf states have an opportunity to lead the rest of us. [I saw a video] done by VAYLA-NO, they teach about hydrocarbons and hydrosulfide in oil. I didn’t know that. If I saw a blob of oil on the beach, I might play with it before I saw their video. Now I know to keep away. They may not be able to clean birds and stuff, but they made a video that educated me about the dangers of encountering oil at the beach. That’s pretty important to me.
Read more about Sam on Nat Geo News Watch.
Find out more about the oil spill on the GreenScene blog.
The winner of the National Park Foundation’s First Bloom garden design contest has been announced! Fort Smith National Historic Site in Arkansas came in first place. The design features raised beds planted with native Arkansas plants, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. To fit in with the historic nature of the park, youth from Girls, Inc. of Fort Smith will help maintain the garden wearing costumes from the 1860s.
The Fort Smith National Historic Site’s First Bloom group will be taking a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit national parks such as the National Mall. The other winners will get grants to help them with their projects.
How much do you know about the national parks? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Illustration courtesy National Parks
Do you like to explore? Kids living in the U.S. spend 50% less time outdoors than kids did 20 years ago. Forests are great places to have outdoor adventures and learn about nature. You’ll never know what you’ll discover. Grab your parents and tell them you want to go on an outdoor adventure this weekend. Visit the Discover the Forest site to get inspired and print out a book full of cool stuff to do featuring Shrek!
Why does Shrek like visiting the forest? Watch the new Discover the Forest video on YouTube to find out!!
Visit Discover the Forest to find a forest or park near you.
You can go on a camping trip in your backyard! Find out how on National Geographic Kids.
Last week, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico called the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank. It first looked like the oil spill from the accident would be small, but now the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that the the damaged pipes from the BP company-owned rig are leaking 5,000 barrels a day.
The oil is thin at the surface, but because the spill is coming from deep underwater, there’s lots of oil in the water that can be seen from above.
The oil has spread over several thousand square miles and has reached the coast of Louisiana.
See more pictures and learn more about the oil spill on National Geographic News.
Read more on NG Kids Green Scene.
Photographs courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Team/NASA
Do you want to learn more about national parks and have some fun at the same time? First Bloom is a National Park Foundation program just for kids in grades four through six where kids do activities and meet with park rangers once a month. Kids can learn about environmental topics such as invasive species vs. native plants and how they affect an ecosystem.
This spring, First Bloom groups designed gardens that feature native plants from their local parks. You can vote for your favorite design. The group that gets the most votes will win a free trip to a national park.
Learn more about First Bloom and vote for your favorite garden designs on the National Parks Foundation website.
What are invasive plants? Get the scoop on National Geographic Kids.
Illustration courtesy National Parks Foundation
The average bathtub can hold 40-50 gallons of water. That’s a LOT of water going down the drain when you’re ready to dry off. Want a quick way to save water on Earth Day (April 22)? Skip the bath!
If your parents insist that you wash off mud from soccer practice, think about taking a shower instead of hopping in the tub. Conventional showers use 7-10 gallons per minute, and water-saving shower heads use 2-4 gallons per minute. So if you jump in for a 5-minute shower, you’ll use about 10 to 35 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
Play Creek Cleanup and see how much trash you can scoop out of the water.
The correct answer is microbe poop! Scientists thought that the colorful deposits (like the ones in the picture above) found in lava tubes were minerals, but as it turns out, they’re really droppings from microbes living in the tubes.
Gross? Maybe, but the deposits can also be beautiful, according to scientists. Some examples are “a lovely blue-green ooze dripping out of the [cave] ceiling in Hawaii; a vein of what looks like a gold, crunchy mineral in New Mexico; and, in the Azores, amazing pink hexagons,” said Diana Northup, a geomicrobiologist at the University of New Mexico.
Find out more about the mats of microbe poop and how they might provide clues to life on Mars on National Geographic News.
Speaking of evidence, read about a birdnapper that got busted with poop on his shoes in another News Bite.
Photograph courtesy Guy Caniaux
Photograph by Evan Zhang, My Shot
Watermelons are delicious and great fuel for kids on a hot summer afternoon. But they also might make great fuel for cars!
Wayne Fish, a chemist with the Agricultural Research Service in Lane, Oklahoma, and his team were working on a project using watermelons when they realized that watermelon juice could be used to make ethanol, which can be used as fuel for cars. Only about four of every five watermelons grown are sold to people for food. The remaining fifth of the watermelons go to waste. That could be a lot of fuel!
Read more about this green (or is it red?) fuel on National Geographic News.
Put your own words into a photo of a woman eating watermelon on National Geographic Kids.
Saving energy is important. But what is energy, exactly? How is it measured? And how do we use it in our daily lives? Get answers to these questions and much more on the Energy Kids website. Play games, answer riddles, and get ideas for science fair projects while you brush up on your energy knowledge.
Get tips on how to save power on National Geographic Kids.
Learn how we can get energy from cows! Read Cow Power.
Have you ever wanted to explore a new place and just be yourself? Forests are a great place for outdoors adventure! The Discover the Forest website helps you find a park or forest near you. Once you’ve picked a spot, you can print out a book of ideas, learn to use a compass, and match animal tracks. Go exploring!
Watch the Discover the Forest video from the Forest Service.
Visit Discover the Forest to find a park near you.
What’s it like to be a conservationist? Meet Mike Fay.
Learn how to take a camping trip in your backyard on National Geographic Kids.
Scientists in Denmark wondered if global warming could make Greenland’s wolf spiders bigger. During a ten-year study, they tracked spider sizes. In years when spring came 30 days earlier than usual, some spiders grew exoskeletons that were thicker than average, resulting in bigger bodies! In colder winters, spiders grew thinner exoskeletons. What’s more, during warmer springs female spiders grew larger than the male spiders did.
Photograph by Tom Uhlman/AP
As the Earth’s temperature warms, bigger spiders could become the norm. Researchers aren’t sure why warmer temperatures mean bigger wolf spiders. It could be because their prime hunting season is longer. Or perhaps longer summers allow the spiders to molt–shed their old exoskeletons–more often, letting grow bigger during their lifetimes. The study’s co-author, Toke Høye, is pretty sure that bigger spiders will also mean MORE spiders, because larger female wolf spiders have more offspring than smaller ones.
Read more about this spider study on National Geographic News.
Watch a jumping spider video on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph from AP
Today is Earth Day! People in countries around the world will be celebrating our wonderful planet and raising awareness about the environment.
Earth Day is 39 years old this year. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. With support from Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson, a Washington, D.C. environmental group organized an event called the Environmental Teach-In to raise environmental awareness. This event became Earth Day. Earth Day spread from being recognized in cities and colleges in the United States to being observed in places all over the world.
Are you planning to do anything to celebrate Earth Day? Let us know!
See photos from the first Earth Day on National Geographic News.
Get green tips on National Geographic Kids.
Sort recyclables with Gus when you play Recycle Roundup!
Photograph by Enric Sala
NG Fellow Enric Sala and a team of scientists are starting out on a six-week expedition to study undisturbed reef systems in the Southern Line Islands. This research will create a model of what healthy coral reefs and other healthy marine ecosystems should be like. Damaged coral reefs can be compared with the model, and scientists will be able to better understand what steps are needed to help the reefs recover.
Read the whole post »
Turn off your lights this Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 local time and participate in a global observance called Earth Hour. Individuals, businesses, and organizations across the world will be participating (National Geographic included). Earth Hour is a demonstration of how much we can do to cut back power use and prevent climate change if we all work together.
The first lights-out will be in the Chatham Island off the coast of New Zealand. From there, the wave of darkened buildings, streets, and monuments will ripple through all 25 time zones. Even the Eiffel Tower will go dark.
The more participants there are, the bigger the impact will be. So get ready to power down!
Learn more about Earth Hour.
Read about last year’s Earth Hour on National Geographic News.
Get more power saving tips on National Geographic Kids.