Writers and photographers are available for interviews May 15-June 14 (see specifics below).
THE CHANGING FACE OF GREENLAND — two-part cover story:
MELT ZONE, by Mark Jenkins, photographed by James Balog (Page 34) In his Extreme Ice Survey, photographer James Balog seeks to “create a memory of things that are disappearing.” His solar-powered, blizzard-proof, time-lapse cameras serve as a constant record as Greenland’s white ice sheet melts. His photos capture a more colorful Greenland — miles of blue meltwater in the form of rivers and lakes, and ice darkened by muddy-looking grit known as cryoconite. Writer Mark Jenkins and a team of experts set out to investigate Greenland’s changing face, even descending 100 feet into a blue ice abyss. Balog and Jenkins are available for interviews.
VIKING WEATHER, by Tim Folger, photographed by Peter Essick (Page 48) As Greenland warms up and the ice sheet shrinks, the landscape is appearing much as it did when the Vikings colonized the island in the Middle Ages. Yet the usual apprehension associated with climate change is overshadowed by expectations. This self-governing dependency of Denmark still leans heavily on its former colonial ruler. But the Arctic meltdown has started to open up access to oil, gas and mineral reserves that could give Greenland the financial and political independence its people crave. Writer Tim Folger looks at how the warmer temperatures may affect traditional life on the island; photographer Peter Essick documents the changing geography and the people who are experiencing the “greening” of Greenland.
Folger is available for interviews.
COUNTING CRANES, by Jennifer S. Holland, photographed by Klaus Nigge (Page 68) “Standing nearly five feet tall, it can spy a wolf — or a biologist — lurking in the reeds. It dances with springing leaps and fl aps of its mighty wings to win a mate. Beak to the sky, it fi lls the air with whooping cries.” So writes National Geographic’s Jennifer S. Holland of the whooping crane, the emblematic endangered species whose numbers continue to fall despite a decades-long effort to save the birds. As of February 2010, the cranes’ annual tally sat at 263, their numbers decimated by tough migrations, droughts that destroyed their main food source of blue crabs and wolfberry plants, and by the birds striking power lines. This number must expand at least fi vefold before the population can steady. Klaus Nigge photographs the graceful whoopers. Holland and Nigge are available for interviews.
MANDELA’S CHILDREN, by Alexandra Fuller, photographed by James Nachtwey (Page 80) As South Africa takes the world stage this June to host the World Cup, the days of apartheid may appear a distant past, yet the effects of the racial system, which ended with the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, linger for many. Author Alexandra Fuller tells the story of a black victim of a bombing and one of the white extremists responsible for the attack — an intimate tale that spotlights the long shadow of apartheid. Photographer James Nachtwey, who documented the end of South Africa’s apartheid era in the February 1993 National Geographic, captures a country that must face its past to move forward.
FOJA MOUNTAINS FAUNA, by Mel White, photographed by Tim Laman (Page 110) From a spikenosed tree frog to a wattled smoky honeyeater, Indonesia’s Foja Mountains on the island of New Guinea are booming with bizarre creatures, many largely undiscovered by the outside world. Photographer Tim Laman shows us creatures that live among the Foja’s deep valleys, sheer cliffs, knife-edge ridges and forest canopy that went unexplored until National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Jared Diamond conducted surveys there in 1979 and 1981. Now, after expeditions there led by Conservation International with National Geographic support, the Foja Mountains have become a scientists’ playground — a place where new discoveries are commonplace, greatly expanding what we know of New Guinea’s fauna and flora. Laman and CI scientist Bruce Beehler are available for interviews.
CHINA’S CAVES OF FAITH, by Brook Larmer, photographed by Tony Law (Page 124) Thousands of Buddhas painted in every color, their robes glinting with imported gold, radiate across the walls of China’s Mogao caves; celestial musicians fl oat across the ceilings in blue gowns of lapis lazuli. Photographer Tony Law takes readers inside the grottoes, among the world’s fi nest galleries of Buddhist art and a religious and cultural time capsule of the Silk Road. The caves, carved out between the fourth and 14th centuries, are decorated with exquisite murals, adorned with more than 2,000 sculptures, and once contained tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts. Author Brook Larmer writes of the great marvel that is once again bringing East and West together as scientists from Asia, Europe and the U.S. work to conserve the masterpieces and contain the impact of tourists. Law and Larmer are available for interviews.
June’s Departments section looks why the 18-karat-gold World Cup statue is kept under lock and key; the surprising bond between male elephants; the real impact of eco-commuting; the bedrock under Kiruna, Sweden, that has a town on the move; and South African skeletons that could explain the origin of Homo erectus.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet. It has won 11 National Magazine Awards in the past four years: for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays and two inaugural Digital Media Awards for Best Photography and Best Community in 2010; for Photojournalism in 2009; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting in 2008; and for General Excellence and Photography in 2007.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 32 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $5.99 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call for membership in the Society.