National Geographic November 2015, Part 3

Against the Tide, by Kennedy Warne, photographs by Kadir van Lohuizen

We leave Greenland, heading towards a much smaller island, well, technically an archipelago made of much smaller islands. The first thing I learned from this article is the correct pronunciation of “Kiribati.”  Apparently the “ti” has more of an “s” sound than a “tee” sound.  This is one of the side effects of getting as much information as I do from written sources — you don’t necessarily know how to pronounce what you are reading.  I actually pronounced “Obama” to rhyme with “Alabama” the first time I said it aloud.

Kiribati is threatened by rising water levels.  The islands are actually coral atolls, and so they aren’t far enough above sea level to resist for long.  According to this article, the capital “will be uninhabitable within a generation.” How long is a generation? 25 years?  30 years?  50 years?  The article doesn’t say, but it’s probably not enough time.

The article is mostly an overview of what the I-Kiribati, what the people of Kiribati call themselves, are doing to help survive the foreseeable future.  They are learning to plant new crops, adding mangroves to the shoreline to help hold the islands together, and beginning to harvest rainwater from their roofs.  Hopefully we’ll find some way to help slow the warming of the earth before it becomes too late for the I-Kiribati and the other people of low-lying islands.

Who Will Thrive? by Jennifer S. Holland, photographs by Joel Sartore

Most of this issue surrounded the questions of how humans will adapt to the changes that the future will bring to the Earth.  This article looks into how the non-human animals that we share the planet with will fare. We don’t know yet which will do well, but it looks like, in general, the faster a species reproduces, the better it will probably do.  The more specialized its environment needs to be the worse it will do.

Pulse of the Planet by Peter Miller

In Pulse of the Planet, Miller looks at the kinds of imaging and sensors that we have available to us these days.  Some have been in use for a while, and some are brand new.

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