Carnival Cutbacks?

WORLD Shortages of both water and funds have cities across Brazil canceling or hedging plans—even for the world-famous Carnival of Rio. (The Guardian) Use our resources to learn more about Carnival and other cultural geographies of South America. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas Read through our terrific encyclopedic entry on the cultural geography of South … Continue reading Carnival Cutbacks?

Where Has All the Water Gone?

ENVIRONMENT Once the fourth-largest lake in the world, Central Asia’s shrinking Aral Sea has reached a new low, thanks to decades-old water diversions and a more recent drought. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to better understand this ongoing environmental catastrophe. Discussion Ideas According to our media spotlight “Disappearing Lake,” the Aral Sea has always been a saline (salty) lake, but it has become much … Continue reading Where Has All the Water Gone?

California’s Megadrought

ENVIRONMENT California is experiencing its worst drought since record-keeping began in the mid 19th century, and scientists say this may be just the beginning. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to better understand droughts. Discussion Ideas Read through our activity “Extreme Natural Events.” In what ways is drought different from every other extreme natural event listed in that activity—earthquakes, avalanches, wildfires, etc.? Read through the … Continue reading California’s Megadrought

Emus Take Over Australian Town

GEOGRAPHY AWARENESS WEEK! ENVIRONMENT Driven from the Outback by drought, hungry emus have strutted into the town of Longreach, Queensland. Residents are worried about the large bird’s safety—as well as their own. (National Geographic Newswatch) Use our resources to understand the far-reaching impact of droughts. Discussion Ideas Emus are a type of bird. They are primary consumers, meaning they forage for seeds and plants. Why … Continue reading Emus Take Over Australian Town

Pollen Down: Clues about Civilizations’ Collapse

SCIENCE What happened about 3,200 years ago to bring about the collapse of not just one but a number of flourishing civilizations—Egyptian, Hittite, Mycenaean—on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean? Wars, pestilence, and sudden natural disasters have all been postulated as possible causes, but now, thanks to sophisticated pollen-sampling techniques and advances in radiocarbon dating, scientists think they know the primary culprit: drought. (National Geographic … Continue reading Pollen Down: Clues about Civilizations’ Collapse