Archive for 2006

Hawaiian New Year a Melting Pot of Traditions

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 28, 2006   View Article

The New Year will arrive on the Hawaiian Islands with loads of bang, food, and good luck, according to local experts.

The Pacific Ocean islands are home to a culturally and ethnically diverse group of people that have created a unique set of New Year’s traditions, explained DeSoto Brown, the collection manager of the Bishop Museum archives in Honolulu.

Polar Bears Proposed for U.S. Endangered Species List

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 27, 2006   View Article

The U.S. government today proposed listing polar bears as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act because the animals’ sea ice habitat is melting.

“Polar bears are one of nature’s ultimate survivors,” Department of the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne told reporters today at a press conference.

Solar System’s Fate Predicted by White Dwarf?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 21, 2006   View Article

In an example of galactic foreshadowing, scientists have gazed out at the stars and glimpsed how our solar system might look in several billion years.

An unusual ring of metal-rich gas orbiting a white dwarf—the remains of a burned-out star of modest mass—has been spied within the constellation Virgo.

Christmas Eve Bonfires Light Up Louisiana Levees

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 21, 2006   View Article

Santa Claus and churchgoers traveling to midnight mass should have no trouble finding their way along Louisiana’s levees this Christmas Eve.

More than a hundred towering bonfires will light the way, as they have every year for at least a century.

Moles, Shrews Can Smell Prey While Underwater, Study Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 20, 2006   View Article

Get a whiff of this: Two small, semiaquatic mammals can use their sense of smell even when underwater, according to a new study.

The finding stems from high-speed video that shows a star-nosed mole rapidly blowing out bubbles of air and sucking them back in while foraging underwater.

52 New Species Found in Borneo, Report Announces

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 19, 2006   View Article

A miniature fish, a tree frog with bright green eyes, and a catfish with a sticky belly are among 52 new species discovered within the past year in Borneo, according to a report released today.

The Southeast Asian island is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Sea Level May Rise 40 Percent Higher Than Predicted, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 14, 2006   View Article

Global warming could push sea levels about 40 percent higher than current models predict, according to a study that takes a new approach to the calculation.

Most sea level models predict changes based on what we know about how ice sheets melt and warmer waters expand.

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