Craig Welch@craigwelch

637 posts 0 followers 0 following

Craig Welch

Powerful moment near Homer from our 2016 @natgeo mag story, my first w/ photographer @paulnicklen . Repost • @natgeo Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | Biologist Debbie Tobin holds the paw of a sea otter taking its last breath on the shores of Homer, Alaska. You could be a wildlife photographer for twenty years and never be prepared for what it's like to walk up to a dying sea otter, wheezing its last breaths. Beginning in 2013, a body of warm water, nicknamed "the blob," formed in the Gulf of Alaska. It morphed and it grew and it stretched all the way to Mexico, until it covered 3.5 million square miles, feeding toxic algae blooms that devastated marine life on the North Pacific coast for years. In 2015, some 300 sea otters were found dead or dying on beaches in Homer, Alaska. I will never forget the sounds they made. Warming water temperatures worldwide are a symptom of the climate crisis—the blob was like a fever. The American government recently announced that it intends to change the Endangered Species Act, making it easier to remove endangered species, like the sea otter, from the list. It also pits the value of protecting species up against the cost of losing revenue from industry. Research tells us that extreme events like the blob will become more common; if we continue to put industry and profit first, things will only get worse. To see a video of the tragic moment when a sea otter takes its last breaths, follow me @PaulNicklen. #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere #ClimateChangeIsReal #ActNow.

Homer, Alaska
45

Craig Welch

Our #seaturtle story: “From Kemp’s ridleys no bigger than car tires to leatherbacks that can outweigh polar bears, six of the world’s seven sea turtle species are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered... And yet sea turtles may be more resilient than once thought.” They just need our help. See link in bio for complete story. Repost • @emmetsmith Surviving, Despite Us: Sea turtles have roamed the oceans for 100 million years, but we are putting the reptiles at risk. Photographs by @thomaspeschak, editing by @kfmoran. Story by @craigwelch. Infographics by Fernando Baptista, John Kappler, Diana Marques, and Eve Conant. Design by @vitomirzarkovic. In our October 2019 issue of @natgeo.


7

Craig Welch

Lots of fabulous stories in this issue. You can also find out #seaturtles piece w/amazing @thomaspeschak pics. It’s even a little hopeful 😊 (see link in bio). Repost • @emmetsmith Last of Its Kind: What We Lose When An Animal Goes Extinct. Photograph of the last moments of Sudan, the world’s last male Northern White Rhino, with dedicated keeper Joseph Wachira, by @amivitale.


13

Craig Welch

Photo by @katieorlinsky As warming temps allowed Arctic shrubs to get bigger, their branches began to poke through snow during cold months. That gave these little fellas food and shelter even in winter. Result: they’ve expanded their range all the way to the Arctic Ocean. And that is now luring predators like lynx north, too. We even saw a lynx near camp while paddling down Alaska’s Alatna River #onassignment last year. (Well, not quite “we.” Technically, everyone else saw it. I was sound asleep in the tent. No one could wake me. Oops.) See link in @katieorlinsky’s bio for our @natgeo mag story from last month. Repost • @katieorlinsky It is World Animal Day, and I would like to share this little guy, who I have named Bigfoot! This was the only remotely successful picture I made during an ill-fated camera trap photography expedition following @uafairbanks and @gatesofthearcticnps scientists in the Brooks Range of Alaska. Apparently, little black wires look a lot like yummy brown twigs and the bunnies preferred dining on the equipment rather than posing for it. I was there looking into the way certain animal species like snowshoe hare are moving north as a result of climate change for my recently published article with writer @craigwelch ”The Carbon Threat” (link in bio).


1

Craig Welch

Rolled into Des Moines super late last night from our cross-country climate change reporting trip. Rose early this a.m. to learn @gretathunberg was speaking a few hours away. #serendipity #onassignment for @natgeo #roadtripto2070 w/ @dguttenfelder in the Midwest. #gretathunberg #greta #climatechange

Iowa City, Iowa
4

Craig Welch

Every bit as weird a morning as it seems. 😎 Repost • @dguttenfelder Pulling out of the Cadillac RV Park entrance in Amarillo, TX this morning on a @natgeo renewable energy road trip with writer @craigwelch (on headlights)

Cadillac Ranch - Route 66 - Amarillo, TX
4

Craig Welch

Amen, Keith. Thrilled to have been aboard. Yes I’d probably go back. But, you know, not right away. •• Repost @ladzinski I love the adventure of my job but somethings I’m happy to have just done “once” - crossing the #DrakePassage is one of them. The footage here is from an expedition I took in 2017 to Antarctica to work on a climate change story for @natgeo @sealegacy organized and led by friends & colleagues @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier. It was an eye opening trip in every way but our boat ride home at the end was nearly 6 straight days of this. The footage here was shot near the end of that stretch when conditions were calm enough to film in, you can only@imagine what it was like the rest of the time. It was a belly turner to say the least and truth be told, I’d probably do it again because it wasnt without laughter among friends and is a hell of a thing to do in life. True adventure is seasoned with uncertainty, being outside of your comfort zone and the willingness to embrace the unknown. The reward is unforgettable experience, moments of beauty and bonding with those around you that were willing to go along for the journey.


16

Craig Welch

Home for the night. “Mack the Knife” was playing on a loudspeaker. The Sinatra version. Of course. #onassignment

New Mexico
11

Craig Welch

It’s the car state, where Jan and Dean hit “Dead Man’s Curve,” where custom auto body shops proliferate like Starbucks, a place where nobody walks if driving is an option. But from Muscle Beach to the Mojave, America’s most profligate gas-guzzling region is also leading a quiet revolution in energy. Where do we go from here? Stay tuned. Repost by @dguttenfelder • California. We started at the Pacific beach, drove through great wind and solar energy fields, crossed harsh Death Valley, and stopped at some of the country’s most unique, cherished landscapes. We’ve only started this @natgeo renewable energy road trip across the USA. Photo captions: 1. Artist’s Palette landscape. 2. Van Life road tripping 3. Furnace Creek Gas Station (said to be the most expensive gas prices in the USA). 4. Santa Monica Pier 5. Badwater Basin, below sea level. #roadtripto2070 w/ @craigwelch #californiadreaming #roadtrip

California
4

Craig Welch

NEW @natgeo STORY IN BIO. Sea turtles mistake plastic for jellyfish, get balloons stuck in intestines, snap flippers in fishing nets, get smashed by ships. We bludgeon them, poison them, eat them, disorient them w/lights, build condos on their nests. We've used turtle skins for boots and wallets, their shells for clothing, furniture, eyeglasses, jewelry. Rising temps, in some cases, have turned 99 percent of hatchlings female. Rising seas flood nests and drown eggs. AND YET ... We know how to help, and it works—when we do it. Shade or darken beaches during nesting. Keep dogs away. Change fishing practices. Actually enforce anti-poaching efforts. Put observers on fishing boats to make sure rules are followed. Clean up beaches. Where indigenous people eat turtles, offer income and food alternatives—or let it continue w/science-based limits. #seaturtles are tough and resilient. They survived the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. "I've seen all sorts of crazy injuries, deformities, illnesses and they keep going," one scientist says. One injured turtle, rehabbed in Dubai, later swam 5,146 miles—the longest journey ever for a green. Despite all we've done to them, "I think sea turtles...might actually have a pretty good shot," says @cammiekoala We just need to give them a bit more help.•• Here, @dani_marinelife catches and tags a sea turtle on a shoal near tiny Bu Tinah island, 80 kilometers off Abu Dhabi. Scientists were checking turtles' health and seeing where they nest. Story includes fabulous @thomaspeschak pics w/welcome help from @ottowhitehead and @filipe_deandrade as part of a special issue on #endangeredspecies and #extinction Please READ AND SHARE

UAE
16

Craig Welch

Does a clean-energy future demand austerity? Can we still be electricity gluttons? Repost from @dguttenfelder • The bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. How would a renewable energy, carbon-free future look? How can we get there? We’re on Day 6 of a @natgeo renewable energy road trip across the USA #roadtripto2070


0

Craig Welch

Shadows and ripples in the sand at dawn and dusk in Death Valley. #onassignment for @natgeo #desertlife #itsadryheat

Death Valley National Park
3

Craig Welch

We are at the crossroads. * Repost @dguttenfelder Clothing store mannequins face a gas station at a Mojave, California highway intersection. Gas is always easy to find on a classic USA road trip, but we’re not looking for gas as we cross the USA in our electric vehicles. Traveling from one charging station to the next is a new, sometimes more complicated, always greener journey. Day 3 of our renewable energy road trip #roadtripto2070 for @natgeo w/ @craigwelch


3

Craig Welch

How it looks through the lens of a master • Repost @dguttenfelder Beginning at sunrise beneath the solar-powered Ferris wheel on Santa Monica pier, today we’re starting a renewable energy road trip across the USA. #roadtripto2070 for @natgeo

Santa Monica, California
4

Craig Welch

Night time. Day time. May more of our journeys start on a pier w/a solar-powered Ferris wheel and a hot dog on a stick.

Santa Monica Pier
1

Craig Welch

On stands now or see link in my bio. Repost • @emmetsmith The Threat Below. Arctic permafrost is thawing much faster than expected, reshaping the land and releasing carbon gases that could speed up climate change. Photographs by @katieorlinsky, editing by @sadiequarrier. Story by @craigwelch. Graphics and cartography by @jasontreat, Matt Chwastyk, @tomasmullerdigitalart, Eve Conant, and @rtaywil. Design by @ebradley929. In our September 2019 issue of @NatGeo.


17

Craig Welch

This.
REPOST from @melissalesh **
Sound on 🔊 This is what an intact jungle looks like. Sounds like. This is an ocelot in its natural home, one of so many creatures that rely on the Amazon Rainforest, including us. News of the uncontrolled fires has been absolutely devastating. Although the aerial footage at the end of this clip might look like flames, this is a sunrise blazing down through water rising as clouds, footage I captured a few months ago. The beauty of a system in balance keeping our planet alive is not something easily put into words. Now, smoke can be seen from space. The signals continue to come..
#prayforamazonia #weneedmorethanprayers #actonclimate


6

Craig Welch

Watch this space in three weeks for our special project on sea turtles w/more terrific images from the great @thomaspeschak! *Repost from @thomaspeschak - Olive and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are unique, as some populations lay their eggs in seasonal ‘Arribada’ mass nesting events. At Ostional along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica up to 500,000 Olive ridley turtles emerge to lay their eggs during this multi day phenomenon. Shot on assignment for @natgeo working with @filipe_deandrade @craigwelch @ottowhitehead #arribada #ostional #costarica #seaturtles #oliveridley

Costa Rica
8

Craig Welch

Special September issue out today, including our permafrost story (link in bio). Terrific work, all. Repost from @emmetsmith - New Cover: The Arctic is Heating Up. You’re looking at the minimum recorded sea ice in the Arctic, September 2012. By September 2036, scientists project there will be none. The impacts on our climate and politics are staggering. Image by @mcanalesgraphics, @antoine_collignon, @tvdvd and @tsickley. Special kudos to @typesupply for the custom lettering.


9

Craig Welch

Repost from @katieorlinsky - Methane Bubbles. Smith Lake in Fairbanks, Alaska.
From “The Carbon Threat” (link in bio) for @natgeo written by @craigwelch.

That fire photo from yesterday…this is where it comes from. As permafrost thaws it creates lakes and ponds which release methane bubbles into the water. When the water freezes in winter, it traps the bubbles in ice. So if you punch a hole through the ice, the gas escapes and can be set on fire, as seen in my last post when @uafairbanks scientists demonstrated this for me last winter.
The methane gas that bubbles from the oxygen- deprived mud under ponds and lakes is quite beautiful; it is also 25 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. All permafrost thaw leads to greenhouse gas emissions, but lakes and ponds like the one seen here accelerate the threat. @uafairbanks ecologist Katey Walter Anthony has been measuring the methane coming from Arctic lakes for two decades. Her latest calculations, published in 2018, suggest that new lakes created by abrupt thaw could nearly triple the greenhouse gas emissions expected from permafrost. That means we need to curb our own fossil fuel use even faster. @insidenatgeo #climatechange


4

Craig Welch

Story LINK IN BIO! Repost from @natgeo Photo by @katieorlinsky | I've been photographing in the Arctic for close to six years, trying to tell stories that put a human face on climate change. For nearly two of those years I've been working on “The Carbon Threat” for @natgeo, online today. The article, written by @craigwelch, tackles the urgent subject of permafrost thaw.
It has been one of the most challenging stories I have ever photographed, a journey that fluctuated from frustrating and
disturbing to fascinating and inspiring at a moment's notice. What is happening to our planet is not easy to swallow, but we must confront it head-on. I hope our article can help the public and policymakers recognize this new, groundbreaking reality and take action.
Arctic permafrost is thawing much faster than expected, releasing carbon gases that could drastically speed up climate
change. Scientists say permafrost thaw may release nearly three times more greenhouse gases than expected. That means we’ll have to curb our own fossil fuel use even faster than lawmakers think. In this image, flammable methane, a potent greenhouse gas, bubbles from the thawing permafrost beneath a frozen lake. When you punch a hole through the ice, the gas escapes and can be measured—or set on fire— as a scientist demonstrates here.
Permafrost refers to the layer of continuously frozen soil that covers almost 1/4th of the Earth’s surface, found mostly in the Arctic. Most permafrost areas have been frozen for more than 10,000 years. And trapped inside permafrost are thousands of years of organic matter that decomposes as the ground thaws. That thawing ground slumps, allowing water to pool into millions of new ponds and lakes. These lakes—created this way or by beavers invading the far north—then chew through more permafrost. But they also allow all that organic matter to escape as methane, which is 25 times (or more) as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. #climatechange #arcticforever #polar #alaska #russia #onassignment #storytelling


4

Craig Welch

*NEW* LINK IN BIO it could hardly be more important: Thawing #Arctic ground is releasing far more carbon than once thought. That msg isn’t in #IPCC reports yet, which means it hasn’t even reached policymakers. So when #GreenNewDeal authors like @ocasio2018 and others say we have to cur fossil fuel use entirely by 2050... we actually have to move even faster than that. **
My September @natgeo mag story w/marvelous @katieorlinsky photos and @jasontreat graphics went online today. Please read and share. And let it help motivate us all. Thanks to @insidenatgeo for supporting our reporting. #climatechange #alaska #permafrost


2

Craig Welch

Really hard to imagine a better trail—or more perfectly Pacific Northwest views and weather—for this a.m.’s long uphill run on Mt Washington. Swapping leads w/master trail scout @a_nickelz on mountain bike. #igrunners #instarunning #trailrunning #trailrunners #runnersofinstagram #forestrunning #pacificnorthwest

North Bend, Washington
8

Craig Welch

The friends you make when you start hiking/running (mostly hiking) Big Mountain before dawn. The best days start w/at least 2,300 feet of up. #instarunner #instarunning #trailrunning #montanawild

Big Mountain, Whitefish Mt
3

Craig Welch

Congrats, team! For more on our story see link in my bio.
*^
Repost from @cristinamittermeier HUGE news! In March 2017 I joined a @NatGeo expedition team in Antarctica, led by my partner @PaulNicklen, to create a film that we hoped would inspire people to help us protect the #Antarctic Peninsula. "Polar Obsession 360" a VR film, takes you on an epic adventure across raging seas and into a world where you come face to face with one of Antarctica's most charismatic creatures: a 1,000 pound leopard seal. Just this past spring, Polar Obsession won the 2019 People’s Choice Award, Webby Award for VR & 360 Video, and one Honoree mention from @thewebbyawards. Today, I am beyond excited to tell you that Polar Obsession has been nominated for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in the Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary category. Congratulations to the entire team for their #EmmyNomination!
.

@blackdotfilmsvr, @Ladzinski Ignacio Ferrando Margelí and Frederic Lilien Shane Moore @PattersonImages @RodolfoWerner @CraigWelch, @Ianvaso, @Andy_Mann, #DionPoncet #JuliettePoncet Max Solomon and Malvina Martin from Black Dot who shot/produced/edited, Matt Zymet, Gabbi Ewing, Kaite Mullin


4

Craig Welch

Another day, another training #trailrun among the wildflowers in the Lizard Range in British Columbia. Here, @pcat works her way down our morning route. So spectacular here, but still not used to running with bear spray. #grizzlybear #instarunners #trailrunners #runnersofinstagram #mountainrunning #trailrunning

Fernie, British Columbia
8

Craig Welch

When the way down at the end of your trail run takes you through mountain bike terrain. #instarunner #trailrunningcanada #instatrailrunning w/ @chrisasolomon

Mount Fernie Provincial Park
7

Craig Welch

Starting the day out right: early morning run on mountain trails in the Canadian Rockies. (#YoBear #YoBear ) I could do this all day—if, you know, I was stronger. And faster. Pretty damn amazing. #runnersofinstagram #trailrunners #trailrunning #runnersofig #runningmotivation #grizzlycountry

Mount Fernie Provincial Park
1

Craig Welch

Elk River, eastern British Columbia.

Fernie, British Columbia
0

Craig Welch

Congrats to buddy @paulnicklen and the entire @natgeo video team. Their 360 video story “Polar Obsession”—Paul’s brainchild and obsession for years—has been nominated for an Emmy Award. And what a team effort, from Paul and @cristinamittermeier and @andy_mann and @ladzinski to filmmakers @ignacioferrando360 and Fred and Shane Moore and editors like @gabbiewing and @max.salomon . Well done! (Follow link in my bio to our November 2018 #Antarctica story, which includes the long version of this magnificent video piece.)


11