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The vital systems that underpin the health of the planet are facing unprecedented environmental pressures caused by human activity — notably, the increasing impacts of climate change. We urgently need to broaden our knowledge about how much and how rapidly these critical life support systems are changing and what that means to all of us who depend on them to survive.

By applying cutting-edge technology and robust scientific analysis to study the most extreme environments on Earth, we aim to reveal critical information about our changing world that will inform solutions for achieving a planet in balance.


THREE EXTREMES

Our planet is a complex, living machine composed of dynamic and interconnected systems. Mountains, rainforests and the ocean are three of the Earth’s main “engines” working together to provide the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and viable habitats for the world’s plants, animals, and people. 

Life at the Extremes aims to explore the Earth’s engines that sustain us. Starting in spring 2019, the program launches with a focus on mountain environments.

 

Mountains

Rainforests

2019 Everest Expedition

In spring 2019 we conducted our first Perpetual Planet Expedition to Mount Everest

Our Approach

To catalyze solutions in a changing world, we combine science and innovation to bring new perspectives on Earth’s mountains, rainforests and ocean.
  • Science-Based Expeditions

    Exploring and researching changing extreme environments through first-of-their-kind extreme expeditions.

    Research

    Documenting and analyzing data and information for scientific publication.

    Technology

    Deploying state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches to fill critical knowledge gaps.

  • Geographic Visualization

    Visualizing Earth’s engines to track how they are affected by climate change.

    Grants

    Funding projects that accelerate our understanding of and resilience to climate change threats.

    Fellowships

    Supporting leaders who are developing scalable climate change solutions.

  • Convenings

    Bringing together interdisciplinary experts to determine vulnerabilities of extreme environments to climate change.

    Storytelling

    Harnessing National Geographic's storytelling power to inspire understanding and action around the globe.

  • Science-Based Expeditions

    Exploring and researching changing extreme environments through first-of-their-kind extreme expeditions.

  • Research

    Documenting and analyzing data and information for scientific publication.

  • Technology

    Deploying state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches to fill critical knowledge gaps.

  • Geographic Visualization

    Visualizing Earth’s engines to track how they are affected by climate change.

  • Grants

    Funding projects that accelerate our understanding of and resilience to climate change threats.

  • Fellowships

    Supporting leaders who are developing scalable climate change solutions.

  • Convenings

    Bringing together interdisciplinary experts to determine vulnerabilities of extreme environments to climate change.

  • Storytelling

    Harnessing National Geographic's storytelling power to inspire understanding and action around the globe.

main photo by NASA; Mountains: Photo by Ami Vitale; Rainforests: Photo by Frans Lanting; Ocean: Photo by Enric Sala; Extreme Expedition (basecamp at night): Photo by Cory Richards; Science-based Expedition: Cory Richards; Research: V.V. Robin; Technology: Courtesy NGS Labs; Graphic Visualization: Mark Thiessen; Grants: Steve Winter; Fellowships: Courtesy Katy Croff Bell; Convenings: Christiaan Hart; Storytelling: Jimmy Chin.


Perpetual Planet Expeditions are supported by Rolex 
as part of our commitment to a perpetual planet.

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