Michael Kodas, a freelance writer in Colorado, gives National Geographic News Watch an up-close-and-personal look at his state's "epic" wildfire season, and why the West's fires are causing more damage than in the past. Also, be sure to check out his investigative report on the clash between development and fire on Colorado's Front Range, written for the non-profit reporting agency I-News Network.
After weeks covering wildfires in Colorado, I took a Saturday off to climb in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was chatting with a couple rangers on Lumpy Ridge, when one of their radios started squawking.
“It’s crowning,” the radio called. “There are homes nearby.”
Moments later one of the rangers took a call from his wife, who reported that a friend had just shown up at their house with an armload of whatever she could grab as she ran out of her own home, across the street from the fire.
The rangers raced out to help but, within a few hours, the fire destroyed 22 houses just outside the gates of the national park and less than half a mile from the Beaver Meadows Visitors Center... Read more.
A massive herd of caribou grazes the Arctic tundra. Sea birds fatten up on shellfish along the Chesapeake Bay before flying thousands of miles to winter in South America. A pod of orca glide past Pacific islands blanketed in fir and cedar as they hunt for salmon.
Few sights are more awe-inspiring than mass movements of animals instinctively traveling the path forged by the millions of their kind that came before them. Summer is prime time for wildlife viewing, the season when you'll catch birds and animals tending their young and storing up energy before their fall migrations to winter feeding and breeding grounds... Read more.
Sea levels are rising much faster along the U.S. East Coast than they are around the globe, putting one of the world's most costly coasts in danger of flooding, government researchers report.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists call the 600-mile (965-kilometer) swath a "hot spot" for climbing sea levels caused by global warming. Along the region, theAtlantic Ocean is rising at an annual rate three times to four times faster than the global average since 1990, according to the study published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
It's not just a faster rate, but at a faster pace, like a car on a highway "jamming on the accelerator," said the study's lead author, Asbury Sallenger Jr., an oceanographer at the agency. He looked at sea levels starting in 1950, and noticed a change beginning in 1990... Read more.
Also, watch video of Dr. Josh Willis discussing the connection between oceans and global climate change, as well as why NASA measures greenhouse gas, and how we can detect ocean levels from space: