11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… why orcas are thriving in the waters off Alaska, but dying in the Puget Sound. Looks to be the start of a great series from the Seattle Times.

The Southern Resident population is among the most studied, and most endangered, groups of orcas in the world.
Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

Learn why the whales are running out of salmon, and running out of time.



… where in the world the U.S. military has a presence.

Graphic by 5W Infographics and Politico

Use our resources to learn more about modern military history.



… companies may be overselling “personalized learning.”

A series of tubes! A 1901 prediction of learning in the year 2000, or a diagram of the device on which you’re reading this.
Illustration by Jean Marc Cote, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

Learn why one educator thinks globalized learning is personalized learning.



… North and South Korea are teaming up to fight infectious disease.

The Korean Peninsula has been divided since August 1945. Click to enlarge this beautiful, useful map.
Map by National Geographic Maps

When else have the Koreas teamed up?



… one of the world’s largest impact craters was discovered beneath Greenland’s ice sheet.

What is an impact crater, and what other kind of craters are there?



… a Brazilian highway is among the deadliest in the world for animals.

The ecosystem flanking BR-262 includes gorgeous jaguars like this, along with caimans, anacondas, giant black-necked storks called jabirus, giant anteaters, and capybaras. They’ve all ended up as roadkill, too.
Photograph by Steve Winter, National Geographic

Would you build a road through the Pantanal? Use our lesson plan to analyze the impact.



… the South Pole has a soggy bottom.

Scientists think a “hot spot” of geothermal hot springs and radioactive rocks are heating up the South Pole.
Photograph of Antarctic ice by Maria Stenzel, National Geographic

What’s up at the South Pole?



… to adapt to a changing climate, Kyrgyzstan is reviving its nomadic past.

“In all nomadic societies, eco-centrism used to be at the center of our worldview,” said Sultan Sarygulov, a certified beekeeper and director of Bio KG, an agriculture NGO that runs organic farming trainings in Kyrgyz villages. “What we’re doing in these projects is return[ing] to those laws of nature.”
Photograph of Kyrgyz herders by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic
Learn more about Kyrgyz identity with our Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow.



… solar storms detonated U.S. ocean mines during the Vietnam War.

Stormy weather on the sun can contribute to wacky weather on Earth.
Illustration by NASA

What are solar storms? Use our lesson to find out.



… climate is changing the ocean, and everything in it.

Use our MapMaker Interactive layer on ocean surface temperatures!
Map by National Geographic

What are some of the ocean impacts of climate change?



… we’ll be making wishes on the shooting stars of the Leonid meteor shower this weekend.

This animated image is a composite of 18 still images taken of a meteor burning up over California’s San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 2012.
Photographs by NASA/Robert P. Moreno Jr.

What is a meteor?

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