Photo by Katie Orlinsky @katieorlinsky | The Alatna River Valley in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska, shot for “The Carbon Threat,” in this month’s @natgeo (link in my bio). I took this image from a floatplane as I began my journey home after a 64-mile rafting expedition that followed ecologist Ken Tape along the Alatna River. The Alatna flows south out of Alaska’s Brooks Range, and has become a corridor for wildlife migrating north into the warming Arctic. Beaver numbers in particular are booming, and their ponds—several visible in this image on the far side of the river to the left—may hasten permafrost thaw. Ken Tape is among the handful of scientists working to understand what this means for the future, and on our trip he was able to confirm that the Alatna corridor provides the route that beavers use to cross the Continental Divide of the Brooks Range and move north.
Photo by Gabriele Galimberti @gabrielegalimbertiphoto | Gullfoss, Iceland: A long line of tourists in front of one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, and considered by many to be the most beautiful of its waterfalls. #iceland #waterfall #gullfoss
Photo by Maddie McGarvey @maddiemcgarvey | Driving around western Oklahoma, I came across these cowboys working on their ranch at sunset. I slammed on the brakes and asked if I could photograph them. They were nice enough to let me. Sometimes the best photographs happen when you let yourself aimlessly explore. For more views from around the country, follow me @maddiemcgarvey. #oklahoma #ranch #lasso #horse
Photo by Simon Norfolk @simonnorfolkstudio I The BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station at English Bay, Ascension Island. Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the middle of the south Atlantic Ocean, located 1,400 miles (2,250 km) from the coast of South America and 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from Africa. It is home to a Royal Air Force station, a European Space Agency rocket tracking station, a US/UK signals intelligence facility, and a BBC relay station. Although only five miles (8 km) across and mostly ash and lava fields, the island is festooned with more than 100 antenna arrays. These (pictured) are a kind of aerial spaghetti. Others are enormous wire domes, some are like a large skeletal bomber aircraft raised on pylons, and yet others are delicate cones and spirals. One ground radar system covers acres of ash with a lacework of thick cables. In places, hills of ash have been leveled to allow the positioning of radomes and tracking devices. Follow me @simonnorfolkstudiofor updates, outtakes, unpublished, and archival material. #photojournalism #documentaryphotography #simonnorfolk #sea #bbcrelay #naturalworld
Photo by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz | Chinstrap penguins leave a pink trail of poo as they return to their nests on high ground at Deception Island, Antarctica. Males and females take turns incubating their chicks and make a daily commute down to the sea for feeding. A recent census of chinstraps here showed approximately 52,000 nests, down from 85,000 in 2003, due to loss of their principal food, krill, which feed on marine algae on the underside of sea ice. Krill populations are declining with increasing water temperatures and commercial krill fishing for animal feed. #climatechangeisreal #marchofthepenguins To explore more of our world from above, follow @geosteinmetz.
Photo by Steve Winter @stevewinterphoto | Check out the September issue of @natgeo magazine for the story behind this image. She seems to be asking, what are you doing to my home? A wise man once said, “Where there is life there is hope, but the time to act is now.” We are in danger of losing more than one million species to extinction. And we will suffer greatly, as we are part of nature and everything on the planet is connected. Nature is perfection. All of us, and especially young people, need to take back the planet from the ones who care only about the short term. Fifty-plus percent of the biodiversity is found in forests, and each tree produces enough oxygen for 12 people. We all need to work toward a future where we protect 50% of our planet–so we have a future for generations to come. Take a walk in the woods and hear the symphony of nature in the birds and insects or walk on the beach. Nature heals. I have hope; without it, what is left? Believe.
Photo by Renan Ozturk @renan_ozturk | Stumbling down from the summit of Everest with Prakash Kemchay—the final humans on the mountain. Although Prakash works as a climbing sherpa, ethnically he is a Gurung, a culture equally as resilient and storied as the Sherpa. I learned a lot of cultural lessons this year, but if you take one thing away from this post let it be the difference between a "climbing sherpa," as it’s come to be known as a job title for a high-altitude guide and porter, and the Sherpa, Gurung, Tamang, or Rai people (and many more) who all work as climbing sherpas on Everest. Follow @renan_ozturk for more insight into the Everest season and the #everestmystery assignment this past year.
Photo by Adam Dean @adamjdean | A villager harvests rice in Kwun Chan Kone village, Irrawaddy region, Myanmar, November 2015.
Photo by Brian Skerry @brianskerry | A sperm whale calf swims below her mom in the waters of the eastern Caribbean Sea. With the largest brain of all animals on Earth, they are also our planet’s largest predator. They were portrayed as monsters for centuries, but researchers today are learning that these animals and their societies are far more complex than ever believed. Sperm whale families share unique dialects, parenting techniques, and other elements of culture. Follow @BrianSkerry for more on his latest whale adventures! #whales #momandcalf #spermwhale #mobydick
Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder | The stinger of a scorpion is lit by an ultraviolet light and a red headlamp, as Vietnamese and international herpetologists search the Central Highlands of Vietnam for venomous scorpions, snakes, snails, frogs, and spiders to extract deadly toxins and use them to help discover future pain medications and life-saving drugs. Shot on assignment for @natgeo. For more from Vietnam and around the world, follow @dguttenfelder.
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Photo by Joel Sartore @joelsartore | A gentoo penguin colony on Danco Island, Antarctica. Gentoo penguins are the third largest species of penguin after emperor and king penguins. They are also the fastest penguin species. When swimming, they can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. To see a photo of this species in the Photo Ark, follow me @joelsartore. #penguin #blackandwhite #Antartica #gentoopenguin #PhotoArk