Arctic Drilling Faces Threat from Outer Space

SCIENCE The Northern Lights are a beautiful sight—but, it turns out, they can mess up drilling operations. (Gizmodo) Use our resources to learn all about auroras! Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas According to new research, those lovely Northern Lights can disrupt offshore oil drilling. What are the Northern Lights? Read through our encyclopedic entry … Continue reading Arctic Drilling Faces Threat from Outer Space

Pixel by Pixel, Taiwan Maps Its Maritime Claims

WORLD Seven countries lay claim to parts of the South and East China Sea, the strategic waters through which 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage passes, and under which vast deposits of oil and gas may lie. Taiwan is pushing its first-ever mapping project to back up its own claims—which are as large as mainland China’s. (Christian Science Monitor) Use our MapMaker Interactive to … Continue reading Pixel by Pixel, Taiwan Maps Its Maritime Claims

Scots Free?

WORLD On September 18, Scottish voters will answer a simple question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the referendum. (Guardian) Use our resources to get an idea about how long England and Scotland have been debating this issue. Discussion Ideas Scots will go to the polls next week to answer Yes or No to a simple, … Continue reading Scots Free?

Mixed Results on Fracking Initiatives

POLITICS Voters in three Colorado cities and one in Ohio passed ballot measures this week banning or temporarily halting fracking within their borders. Another Colorado suburb rejected the moratorium by just 13 votes. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to better understand fracking. Discussion Ideas “Fracking” is the nickname for the process of hydraulic fracturing. Watch our “media spotlight” video on “How Hydraulic Fracturing Works.” … Continue reading Mixed Results on Fracking Initiatives

Russia Floats Plan for Arctic Nuclear Plants

WORLD Russia is moving ahead with plans to build a vessel that would contain a pair of small nuclear reactors capable of generating enough electricity for a city of 200,000 people, as well as heat and desalinated water. But it is clear that a major impetus behind the effort is Russia’s drive for oil and gas exploration in remote reaches of the Arctic. (National Geographic … Continue reading Russia Floats Plan for Arctic Nuclear Plants