National geographic interactive September 2013
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National geographic interactive September 2013
Celebrating 125 Years of Exploration
How tHey aRe
nGM.COM SEPTEMBER 2013
VoL. 224 • No. 3 “We tell our families we
come for the money. But
really, we come to escape.”
o F F I C IA L J o U R NA L o F T H E NAT I o NA L G E o G R A P H I C S o C I E T Y
Planets have them too. And they dwarf Everest.
By Luna Shyr
JR: Prince of Prints
From Cuba to Kenya, the bold artist makes
political points with his giant portraits.
By Melody Kramer Photograph by Marco Grob
Urban Pulse of the Congo
The miracle of Kinshasa is that amid the chaos
of this capital city, artists survive and thrive.
By Robert Draper Photographs by Pascal Maitre
Failure Is an Option
History shows that without it, we’d be nowhere.
By Hannah Bloch
They’re inevitable. And they’re sure to be costly—
especially if we don’t prepare. Coastal cities are
turning to the Netherlands for guidance.
By Tim Folger Photographs by George Steinmetz
Special Poster: If All the Ice Melted
Australia’s Big Bird
The cassowary is a standout: Six feet tall,
160-plus pounds, and dad sits on the eggs.
By Olivia Judson Photographs by Christian Ziegler
The ﬁrst thing that the team members learned:
Don’t attach yourself to a kite.
By Freddie Wilkinson Photographs by Cory Richards
Red means force. White signiﬁes purity. The traditional hues adorn members of the
Bobongo Iyaya dance group, which has been performing in Kinshasa since 1987.
A Swing and a Splinter
Baseballers like maple bats.
One problem: They break more
often than ash.
Who was ﬁrst to go around the Earth?
What did Sue Hendrickson discover?
They’re grassy rings in southern Africa’s
deserts. Now we know their origin.
AWave of Creativity
Washed-up toys and ﬂoats
and nets are turned into art.
Pity the Pangolin
The mammal with up to a thousand
scales is heavily trafﬁcked for meat
On the Cover If all of Earth’s ice does melt thousands of years from
now—the most extreme of all extreme scenarios—scientists estimate that
the seas could rise up to 216 feet, covering much of lady liberty.
Art by Nick Kaloterakis
gRAPHIC: JASON TREAT, Ngm STAFF
PHOTOS: CORy RICHARDS (TOP);
Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code.
Copyright © 2013 National Geographic Society
All rights reserved. National Geographic and Yellow Border: Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas.
National Geographic assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Printed in U.S.A.
Subscriptions For subscriptions, gift memberships, or changes of address,
contact Customer Service at ngmservice.com or call 1-800-NgS-lINE (647-5463).
Outside the U.S. and Canada please call +1-813-979-6845.
100% PeFC-CeRTiFied PAPeR
Watch a painter work by
See how sea-level rise
would reshape the planet.
Join this expedition “and
be prepared for anything.”
National Geographic is
available on the iPad, the
Kindle Fire, and the iPhone.
that lets cozy
Wind turbines produced with innovative solutions
from BASF can withstand high-speed winds and
severe weather conditions. Our products help make
the production and installation of wind turbines more
efﬁcient, as well as making them durable—from the
foundations to the very tips of the blades. In this
way, we support the development of wind power as
a climate-friendly source of energy. When high winds
mean clean energy, it’s because at BASF,
we create chemistry.
vacation adventure becomes even more memorable when you approach your destination via
the road less traveled—by bike, by foot, and, in the case of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
in Wales, cliff jumping. Take your trip to the next level by rewarding yourself with comfortable
accommodations and long, leisurely dinners. But no matter where you go or how you get there, with
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
you get 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE IN
A well-kept secret beyond the British Isles,
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, on the west
coast of Wales, is timelessly, exquisitely wild. The
stunning landscape brims with sheer cliffs, caves,
coves, and pristine waters. No other national park
in the United Kingdom boasts so much coastline.
But there is something new in the equation, an
adventure sport with a 20th-century pedigree.
Called coasteering, this adrenaline-rush pastime
involves moving along rugged coastline at sea level.
Helmets, wetsuits, and buoyancy aids help you
navigate a thrilling mix of swimming, rock climbing,
diving, riding waterfalls—whatever it takes to press
on along the dramatic cliffs. And Wales is where this
unique sport was born. Once back on land, enjoy
wonderful locally sourced seafood at ﬁne restaurants
and hearty fare at cozy pubs. Remember, you get
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants
with Chase Sapphire Preferred®
. Learn more at
BIKING CAMBODIA’S LOST CITY OF
Southeast Asia’s most awe-inspiring ancient temple
complex—a UNESCO World Heritage site—takes on
new dimension when a bicycle is part of the equation.
Rent your wheels in the town of Siem Reap, and head
out in the magical light of sunrise for the easy four-
mile ride to the temple site. Cyclists get to choose
from two biking circuits (one covers ten miles; the
other, sixteen) that weave through jungle and forest,
connecting the most outstanding among the complex’s
1,000 temples. Amid all the historic architecture, the
jewel in the crown is the site’s namesake, Angkor Wat,
built some 800 years ago and ﬁlled with larger-than-
life moss-encrusted sculptures. This moated wonder,
originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god
Vishnu, remains the largest religious archaeological
site on the planet and is immortalized on Cambodia’s
ﬂag. To provide a contemporary counterpoint to this
back-in-time adventure, stay at one of the close-by
luxury hotels and go shopping for locally crafted
jewelry, baskets, textiles, and woven-silk shawls.
A d v e r t i s e m e n t
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON
From left: Aerial view of Angkor Wat, Cambodia; tour bike parked outside a countryside Wat, Cambodia; giant cliffs and seashore in
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
2X POINTS ON TRAVEL AND
DINING AT RESTAURANTS
Purchase and balance transfer APR is 15.24% variable. Cash advances and overdraft advances APR is 19.24% variable. Penalty APR of 29.99% variable. Variable APRs change with the market based on the Prime
Rate, which was 3.25% on 04/29/13. Annual fee: $0 introductory fee the ﬁrst year. After that, $95. Minimum Interest Charge: None. Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction, but not less than
$5. Note: This account may not be eligible for balance transfers. Cash Advance Fee: 5% of the amount of each advance, but not less than $10. Foreign Transaction Fee: None. Credit cards are issued by Chase Bank
USA, N.A. Subject to credit approval. To obtain additional information on the current terms and information on any changes to these terms after the date above, please visit chasesapphire.com/preferred. You must have a
valid permanent home address within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Restrictions and limitations apply. See chasesapphire.com/preferred for pricing and rewards details. © 2013 JPMorgan Chase & Co.
INTRO ANNUAL FEE OF $0 THE FIRST YEAR, THEN $95
chasesapphire.com/preferredChase Sapphire Preferred®
Pack a suitcase. Leave the suit.
Art: Nick kAloterAkis4
We are accustomed to hearing about catastrophes that change
life in an instant—an earthquake, a ﬁre, an explosion. But there is a
catastrophe that is playing out in slow motion, measured out over
the course of years, decades, and centuries. And it’s happening now.
the culprit is not so much nature as ourselves. our catastrophe
has to do with dependence on fossil fuels, which has sparked a
chain of events that has warmed the atmosphere and oceans and
melted glaciers and continental ice sheets, and consequently
raised sea levels.
one estimate says that by 2070 the coastal ﬂooding
that will result from this rise may affect nearly 150 million
people living in port cities. “We have irreversibly commit-
ted future generations to a hotter world and rising seas,”
says author tim Folger in this month’s cover story.
Because there are no computer models or scientists
to tell us with certainty how fast and how much the
seas will rise, it is a challenge to illustrate this story
and telegraph the problem’s urgency. You could say it
requires a leap of faith in imagination that is grounded
in fact. in telling this story—and others on the same
subject that we have published—we have worked with
the best scientists, illustrators, writers, photographers,
and cartographers to bring clarity to complexity. We
know the characters in this unfolding drama: the oceans,
the vanishing glaciers and ice sheets, the ever more
destructive storms, like last year’s sandy. it’s just that
we are trying to tell a story with an unwritten end.
is playing out
in slow motion.
6 national geographic • September 2013
“Millions of children in the world don’t live to
be ﬁve years of age. Medicine knows how to save
these children, yet the resources are not allocated
in any economically sustainable way.”
“I am happy
“I am all
in favor of
to be120? Notwithout healthinsurance itwon’t!”
“This baby will live
“Many people live longer than they would
really want to, especially if the circumstances
are not favorable for
LETTERS May 2013
While ﬁlled with interesting anecdotes, the story of the search
for life-extending genes is based on a naive technological
optimism. It misses the profound question of how we can
better meet the increasing challenges to public health around
the world. Many of the basic tools that have extended
average life spans are seriously at risk. The director-general
of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, warned
that “a post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern
medicine as we know it.” These are the types of issues on
which funding, research, and policy need to be focused.
Clues to a Long Life
FEEDBACK Readers had
mixed responses to our story
about human longevity.
The table of contents listing
asks, “You want to live to 120?
And stay healthy?” I want to live
to 120, even if I don’t stay
healthy. Good health is better
than illness and disability, of
course, but illness and disability
do not keep life from being
worth living. Just ask Stephen
Hawking—or ask any of the many
ill and disabled people who are
not geniuses or great achievers
of any sort but who still enjoy life.
Felicia niMue acKerMan
Providence, rhode island
Your article about science trying
to extend the life of humans
appalled me, as did your January
article on space exploration.
We live on a planet whose
climate is changing due to
our misuse of technology, and
we have propagated our own
species to the destruction of
countless others. Yet scientists
want to pursue ways to make us
live longer and travel about the
universe, spreading our mayhem.
How long will cover baby work?
ThoMas l. Price
Why would anyone choose to
live to be 120 years old? Will you
still be in control of your mental
faculties, be able to maintain
your own home, drive a car,
go dancing, have sex? I am an
83-year-old member of a pioneer
New Mexico ranch family. I
raised a family of four and retired
22 years ago. I am grateful every
day for my family and the health
that my husband of 65 years and
I enjoy. Thanks, but no thanks,
for diapers and a nursing home.
Joann M. Young
Tyrone, new Mexico
MAY 2013, NEXT: HOT rOllErS The booties
worn by the dung beetles during testing
were made of silicone, not silicon.
ElEMENT HuNTErS In the graphic on page
119, the discovery of element 115 should
have been attributed only to JINr Dubna/
SupEr MATErIAlS The diameter of the
string of graphene on page 123 should
have been one-tenth of a millimeter.
CHINA’S GrAND CANAl The middle character
on page 132 was expressed in simpliﬁed
Chinese rather than traditional Chinese.
GrApHIC: MESA SCHuMACHEr
NGM.COM MAY 2013
WILL LIVE TO BE
Designed to meet the demand for lifelong
learning, The Great Courses is a highly
popular series of audio and video lectures led
by top professors and experts. Each of our
more than 400 courses is an intellectually
engaging experience that will change how
you think about the world. Since 1990,
over 10 million courses have been sold.
DVD NOW $129.95
+$20 Shipping, Processing, and Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee
Priority Code: 77711
How the Earth Works
Course no. 1750 | 48 lectures (30 minutes/lecture)
ITED TIME OF
ER BY OCTOB
Four Billion Years in
Continents move. Glacial cycles come and go. Mountains form
and erode. We live on a planet constantly in motion—except
it’s usually extremely slow motion. In the 48 exciting lectures
of How the Earth Works, speed up the action and witness the
entire history of our planet unfold in spectacular detail, learning
what the Earth is made of, where it came from, and, above all,
how it works.
This unforgettable course is an astonishing journey through
time and space. From the big bang to small geological forces,
you explore the fascinating processes involved in our planet’s
daily life. You also discover insights into volcanoes, the rock
cycle, tsunamis, the ocean seaﬂoor, and other fascinating natural
phenomena. An international innovator in seismology and
geophysical education, award-winning Professor Michael E.
Wysession provides you with a breathtaking, comprehensive
picture of our remarkable home.
Ofer expires 10/27/13
How the Earth Works
Taught by Professor Michael E. Wysession
washington university in st. louis
1. Geology’s Impact on History
2. Geologic History—Dating the Earth
3. Earth’s Structure—Journey to the Center
4. Earth’s Heat—Conduction and Convection
5. The Basics of Plate Tectonics
6. Making Matter—The Big Bang and Big Bangs
7. Creating Earth—Recipe for a Planet
8. The Rock Cycle—Matter in Motion
9. Minerals—The Building Blocks of Rocks
10. Magma—The Building Mush of Rocks
11. Crystallization—The Rock Cycle Starts
12. Volcanoes—Lava and Ash
13. Folding—Bending Blocks, Flowing Rocks
14. Earthquakes—Examining Earth’s Faults
15. Plate Tectonics—Why Continents Move
16. The Ocean Seaﬂoor—Unseen Lands
17. Rifts and Ridges—The Creation of Plates
18. Transform Faults—Tears of a Crust
19. Subduction Zones—Recycling Oceans
20. Continents Collide and Mountains Are Made
21. Intraplate Volcanoes—Finding the Hot Spots
22. Destruction from Volcanoes and Earthquakes
23. Predicting Natural Disasters
24. Anatomy of a Volcano—Mount St. Helens
25. Anatomy of an Earthquake—Sumatra
26. History of Plate Motions—Where and Why
27. Assembling North America
28. The Sun-Driven Hydrologic Cycle
29. Water on Earth—The Blue Planet
30. Earth’s Atmosphere—Air and Weather
31. Erosion—Weathering and Land Removal
32. Jungles and Deserts—Feast or Famine
33. Mass Wasting—Rocks Fall Downhill
34. Streams—Shaping the Land
35. Groundwater—The Invisible Reservoir
36. Shorelines—Factories of Sedimentary Rocks
37. Glaciers—The Power of Ice
38. Planetary Wobbles and the Last Ice Age
39. Long-Term Climate Change
40. Short-Term Climate Change
41. Climate Change and Human History
42. Plate Tectonics and Natural Resources
43. Nonrenewable Energy Sources
44. Renewable Energy Sources
45. Humans—Dominating Geologic Change
46. History of Life—Complexity and Diversity
47. The Solar System—Earth’s Neighborhood
48. The Lonely Planet—Fermi’s Paradox
I declined to interfere with the
transfer. Now Wrangel Island is
a nature sanctuary with more
than 800 muskoxen.
JaMes r. blair
I spent ﬁve months in Zimbabwe
in a mission village called
loreto (not far from Gweru) in
the fall of 1998. I was a novice
in religious formation getting
my ﬁrst teaching experience.
Nothing in my life before or
since has had a greater impact
on my worldview. I have long
believed robert Mugabe is
among the worst world leaders.
But I also want to believe that
it’s not as bad there as you say.
Either way, I know the people
in Zimbabwe deserve better.
baton rouge, louisiana
running the contentious article
“Breaking the Silence” is com-
mendable. The fearless text
tells of how the 33-year corrupt
and bloody reign of the despot
robert Mugabe has ruined the
economy and robbed farmers
who fed the nation, while the
stunning photographs tell the
story of murder, misery, poverty,
and hunger. But I hear hope
in the words of the victims.
At great risk, brave people are
breaking the silence. They want
the world to hear the truth. This
well-told but sad story will reach
your millions of readers, many
of whom did not know the truth
behind the disaster that is now
Zimbabwe. I was born in Africa.
I hope the world is listening.
s. scoTT haTFielD
smiths Falls, ontario
Yes, the mismanagement of
fertilizers can lead to excessive
loading of ground and surface
water, and part of your mis-
sion is to inform and educate.
However, responsible use of
fertilizers can minimize gaseous
losses due to denitriﬁcation or
volatilization. runoff and leach-
ing losses can be eliminated
by applying the right fertilizer
product, at measured rates,
at proper times.
ithaca, new York
As a boy some 60-odd years
ago in central Kentucky, I
remember that farmers would
plant a fall cover crop to be
plowed under, producing
needed nutrients for the spring
crops of corn and wheat. They
would use crop rotation by
planting corn one year, alfalfa
the next, and so on. This was
done for many years, until the
family farm began to disappear
and larger agribusinesses
began to throw fertilizer at the
ground in massive amounts. In
my hometown there were no
tanks of ammonia and nitrogen
back then, but today there are
silos, tanks, and storage bins full
of fertilizers down at the local
farm supply store. Sure, there
are greater yields now, but you
also don’t see a farm pond that
does not have a serious algae
problem from all the runoff.
let’s encourage the return
to the hardworking and well-
managed family farms and
their concern for our planet.
It was with great delight that
I read this wonderful piece. It
brought back a ﬂood of memo-
ries and allowed my family a
glimpse of an untraveled world
that few ever see. Having spent
a little time in the area courtesy
of the u.S. Coast Guard during
the period of 1961 to 1964,
I had one reservation: The text
says the russians introduced
muskoxen in 1975. I distinctly
remember viewing muskoxen
on the island slopes using a long
glass. At least that’s what we
thought they were, being little
more than moving black dots.
geralD F. gagnon
lake Zurich, illinois
Muskoxen died out
completely about 2,000
years ago on Wrangel
Island, says zoologist Ross
MacPhee. He suggests that
what you saw through your
glass were reindeer.
The 20 muskoxen introduced
to Wrangel Island came from
Nunivak Island, Alaska. The
united States and russia agreed
to the transfer during a period of
rapprochement in 1975. A group
of sportsmen in Fairbanks sued
the Alaska Department of Fish
and Game seeking to prevent
the transfer. I was the judge.
After three days of testimony
i hear hope in the words
of the victims. at great
risk, brave people are
breaking the silence.
Over 300 Styles for Men and Women Available Online
*Deferred billing for 30 days from date shipped and is an optional
selection during checkout; not available at retail locations. Offer
excludes outbound S/H. Credit card authorization required.
national geographic magazine
editor in chief Chris Johns
creative director Bill Marr
executive editors Dennis R. Dimick (Environment), Matt Mansﬁeld (Digital Content),
Jamie Shreeve (Science)
directors of photography Keith Jenkins, Sarah Leen
managing editor David Brindley
text deputy director: Marc Silver. story development editor: Barbara Paulsen
articles editor: Oliver Payne
senior editors: Robert Kunzig (Environment), Jane Vessels (Graphics). senior editor at large:
Victoria Pope. editor at large: Cathy Newman. features editor: Glenn Oeland. editor mission
projects: Hannah Bloch. associate editors: Jeremy Berlin, Amanda B. Fiegl. senior writers:
Peter Gwin, Tom O’Neill, Rachel Hartigan Shea, A. R. Williams. administration: Nicholas Mott;
Katia Andreassi, Lacey Gray
contributing writers: Caroline Alexander, Don Belt, Joel K. Bourne, Jr., Chip Brown,
Bryan Christy, Robert Draper, Cynthia Gorney, Peter Hessler, Jennifer S. Holland,
Mark Jenkins, Peter Miller, David Quammen
departments director: Margaret G. Zackowitz
editors: Johnna Rizzo, Daniel Stone. administration: Catherine Zuckerman
photography deputy director: Ken Geiger
senior editors: Bill Douthitt (Special Editions), Kathy Moran (Natural History), Kurt Mutchler
(Science), Susan Welchman. editor at large: Michael Nichols
senior photo editors: Pamela Chen, Alice Gabriner, Kim Hubbard, Todd James, Elizabeth Krist,
Sadie Quarrier. photo editor: Jeanne M. Modderman. research editor: Mary McPeak. staff
photographer: Mark Thiessen. studio: Rebecca Hale. digital imaging: Edward Samuel, Evan
Wilder. photo engineering: Walter Boggs, David Mathews, Kenji Yamaguchi. rights manager:
Elizabeth Grady. administration: Jenny Trucano; Sherry L. Brukbacher, Zahira Khan, Elena
Sheveiko, Jenna Turner, Tess Vincent
design /art deputy creative director: Kaitlin M. Yarnall
design director: David Whitmore. art director: Juan Velasco
senior design editors: John Baxter, Elaine H. Bradley. design editor: Hannah Tak. senior
graphics editors: Fernando G. Baptista, Martin Gamache, Virginia W. Mason, Ryan Morris,
John Tomanio, Jason Treat. senior cartography editor: Gus Platis. graphics editors:
Jerome N. Cookson, Lawson Parker. graphics research editor: Alexander Stegmaier
senior designer: Betty Clayman-DeAtley. graphic design specialists: Sandi Owatverot-Nuzzo,
Daniela Santamarina, Maggie Smith, Matthew Twombly. administration: Cinde Reichard;
Trish Dorsey, Caity Garvey
copy/research research director: Alice S. Jones
senior copy editor: Mary Beth Oelkers-Keegan. copy editors: Kitry Krause, Cindy Leitner,
Leanne Sullivan. deputy research director: Brad Scriber. research editors: Heidi Schultz,
Elizabeth Snodgrass, Christy Ullrich. senior researchers: Nora Gallagher, David A. Lande,
Taryn L. Salinas. production: Sandra Dane. administration: Jacqueline Rowe
e-publishing digital editions director: Lisa Lytton. multimedia director: Mike Schmidt
digital creative director: Jody Sugrue
digital editions designer: Bethany Powell. graphic design specialists: Kevin DiCesare, Jasmine
Wiggins. supervising video producer: Sarah Joseph. senior video producer: Hans Weise
video producers: Spencer Millsap, Shannon Sanders. senior web producer: John Kondis
associate web producer: William Barr
administration Karen Dufort Sligh (Asst. to the Editor in Chief), Carol L. Dumont (Scheduling), Julie Rushing
(Finance), Valarie Cribb-Chapman, Nikisha Long; Laura Flanagan
communications vice presidents: Beth Foster, Mary Jeanne Jacobsen; Barbara S. Moffet
national geographic creative senior vice president: Maura A. Mulvihill; William D. Perry
library director: Barbara Penfold Ferry; Renee Braden, Anne Marie Houppert
publishing systems vice president: Dave E. Smith. digital operations director: Russ Little
senior project manager: Gina L. Cicotello. systems administrators: Patrick Twomey; Robert
Giroux, Casey Jensen
production senior vice president: Phillip L. Schlosser
services imaging vice president: Thomas J. Craig; Neal Edwards, James P. Fay, Arthur N. Hondros,
Gregory W. Luce, Ann Marie Pelish, Stephen L. Robinson. printing: Joseph M. Anderson
quality vice president: Ronald E. Williamson; Clayton R. Burneston, Michael G. Lappin,
William D. Reicherts. distribution director: Michael Swarr
international deputy managing editor: Amy Kolczak
editions deputy editorial director: Darren Smith. photographic liaison: Laura L. Ford
production specialist: Sharon Jacobs
The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonproﬁt scientiﬁc
and educational organization “for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge.”
national geographic society
chairman and ceo John Fahey
legal and international editions: Terrence B. Adamson
mission programs and licensing: Terry D. Garcia
communications: Betty Hudson
chief marketing officer: Amy Maniatis
publishing and digital media: Declan Moore
television production: Brooke Runnette
chief financial officer: Tracie A. Winbigler
chief technology officer: Jonathan Young
development: Bill Lively
board of trustees
Wanda M. Austin, Michael R. Bonsignore, Jean N. Case,
Alexandra Grosvenor Eller, Roger A. Enrico, John Fahey,
Gilbert M. Grosvenor, William R. Harvey, Gary E. Knell,
Maria E. Lagomasino, Nigel Morris, George Muñoz, Reg
Murphy, Patrick F. Noonan, Peter H. Raven, Edward P.
Roski, Jr., B. Francis Saul II, Ted Waitt, Tracy R. Wolstencroft
education foundation board of governors
chairman: John Fahey
vice chairman: Patrick F. Noonan
Brendan P. Bechtel, Jack Dangermond, Gilbert M.
Grosvenor, Charles O. Holliday, Jr., Gary E. Knell,
Lyle Logan, Julie A. McGee, Floretta Dukes McKenzie,
William K. Reilly, Alex Trebek, Anthony A. Williams
international council of advisors
Darlene T. Anderson, Michael S. Anderson, Sarah
Argyropoulos, Dawn L. Arnall, Lucy and Henry Billingsley,
Richard C. Blum, Sheila and Michael Bonsignore, Diane
and Hal Brierley, Pat and Keith Campbell, Alice and David
Court, Roger A. Enrico, Juliet C. Folger, Michael J. Fourticq,
Claudia and Roberto Hernández, Lyda Hill, Christi and
Patrick Horan, Iara Lee, Deborah M. Lehr, Sven Lindblad,
Bruce Ludwig, David P. Margulies, Pamela Mars Wright,
Edith McBean, Roger McNamee, Mark C. Moore, Pearl and
Seymour Moskowitz, Susan and Michael Pillsbury, Gayle
and Edward P. Roski, Jr., Jeannie and Tom Rutherfoord,
Victoria Sant, Hugo Shong, Jill and Richard Sideman,
Lekha Singh, Marlene and Robert Veloz, Donna and Garry
Weber, Angie and Leo Wells, Tracy R. Wolstencroft, B. Wu
and Eric Larson, Clara Wu Tsai, Jeffrey M. Zell
research and exploration committee
chairman: Peter H. Raven
vice chairman: John M. Francis
Paul A. Baker, Kamaljit S. Bawa, Colin A. Chapman, Keith
Clarke, J. Emmett Duffy, Philip Gingerich, Carol P. Harden,
Jonathan B. Losos, John O’Loughlin, Naomi E. Pierce,
Jeremy A. Sabloff, Monica L. Smith, Thomas B. Smith,
Wirt H. Wills
media advisory council
Jean N. Case, Miles Gilburne, Kevin J. Maroni, Roger
McNamee, Nigel Morris, Dennis R. Patrick, Vivian Schiller,
Tracy R. Wolstencroft
Robert Ballard, Lee R. Berger, James Cameron, Jared
Diamond, Sylvia Earle, J. Michael Fay, Beverly Joubert,
Dereck Joubert, Louise Leakey, Meave Leakey, Enric
Sala, Spencer Wells
sr. vice president, content development: Mark Bauman
vice president, education: Daniel Edelson
vice president, rce grants: John M. Francis
chief operating officer: Sarah Laskin
vice president, public programs: Gregory A. McGruder
vice president, explorer programs: Alexander Moen
human resources sr. vice president: Thomas A. Sabló
treasurer: Barbara J. Constantz
chief sustainability officer: Hans H. Wegner
national geographic channel
ceo: David Lyle
president: Howard T. Owens
chief marketing officer: Courteney Monroe
Inspiring people to care about the planet
arabic Mohamed Al Hammadi
brazil Matthew Shirts
bulgaria Krassimir Drumev
china Bin Wang
croatia Hrvoje Prćić
czechia Tomáš Tureček
estonia Erkki Peetsalu
farsi Babak Nikkhah Bahrami
france François Marot
georgia Levan Butkhuzi
germany Erwin Brunner
greece N. S. Margaris
hungary Tamás Vitray
indonesia Didi Kaspi Kasim
israel Daphne Raz
italy Marco Cattaneo
japan Shigeo Otsuka
korea Sun-ok Nam
latin america Fernanda González Vilchis
latvia Rimants Ziedonis
lithuania Frederikas Jansonas
mongolia Delgerjargal Anbat
netherlands/belgium Aart Aarsbergen
nordic countries Karen Gunn
poland Martyna Wojciechowska
portugal Gonçalo Pereira
romania Cristian Lascu
russia Alexander Grek
serbia Igor Rill
slovenia Marija Javornik
spain Josep Cabello
taiwan Yungshih Lee
thailand Kowit Phadungruangkij
turkey Nesibe Bat
ukraine Olga Valchyshen
advertising 161 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY, 10013; Phone: 212-610-5500; Fax: 212-610-5505
executive vice president and worldwide publisher: Claudia Malley. national advertising
director: Robert Amberg. vice president marketing: Jenifer Berman. vice president business
and operations: Margaret Schmidt. national manager: Tammy Abraham
international managing director: Charlie Attenborough. directors: Nadine Heggie
(International), Rebecca Hill (Marketing), David Middis (British Isles)
executive vice president worldwide consumer marketing and manufacturing: Terrence Day
vice presidents: John MacKethan (Financial Planning and Retail Sales), John A. Seeley
(International). directors: Christina C. Alberghini (Member Services), Anne Barker (Renewals),
Richard Brown (New Business)
national geographic • September 2013
L I K E U S O N F A C E B O O K : N A T G E O B O O K S
A V A I L A B L E W H E R E V E R E B O O K S A R E S O L D
F O L L O W U S O N T W I T T E R : @ N A T G E O B O O K S
and other extreme weather events have increased fourfold in the last two decades. National Geographic
explores the deadliest of these disasters throughout history and arms you with ways to protect yourself
from chaos and destruction.
Read the gripping stories that both fascinate and horrify—from the 1906 earthquake that ﬂattened San
Francisco and the morbid 1889 ﬂash ﬂood that wiped out the entire town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to
the more recent Gulf Coast and East Coast ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.
HURRICANES, TORNADOES, AND EARTHQUAKES
8 national geographic • September 2013
Art: IstvAn BAnyAI. Photo: BettInA hArr
Held Captive My team
was studying the bird species of
the himalaya when ten people with
machine guns entered our camp
and said, “you’re coming with us.”
We usually work 11,000 feet up in
the mountains, but we had dropped
down to monitor the birds living at
the lower elevations. At 8,000 feet
there’s a road. If we’d been higher
up, they wouldn’t have found us.
the Indian Army was everywhere—
it was the early ’90s and the region
was in the middle of an insurgency.
our captors were Kashmiri rebels.
they marched us toward the nearest
village and put us on a small bus.
to keep covert, our captors kept
changing our transport. they pistol-
whipped a rickshaw driver for not
giving up his vehicle quickly enough,
took us about 15 miles, then com-
mandeered another bus. then they
forced us to hike.
We stopped at a pasture that
looked like a rebel outpost from a
movie. the rebels wanted Amnesty
International to come to Kashmir
to document atrocities they claimed
the Indian Army had committed.
We—an englishman and two Ameri-
cans—were the bait.
our captors were nice to us. they
let us stay together. they would clean
the seats for us to sit on while balanc-
ing AK-47s in their other hands. they
challenged us to a tug-of-war, using
an AK-47 as the line we shouldn’t
cross. We very judiciously lost.
on the ﬁfth night one of our team
noticed there was no guard at the
door. In stocking feet, boots in our
hands, we raced up the hill. We ran
until dawn, passing surprised shep-
herds. When we ﬁnally found a road,
we took all our money—only 500
rupees—and got on a passing bus
to start on our journey back home.
Millions of people collect the American Eagle Silver Dollar.
In fact it’s been the country’s most popular Silver Dollar
for over two decades. Try as they might, that makes it a
very hard “secret” to keep quiet. And right now, many of
those same people are lining up to secure the new 2013
U.S. Eagle Silver Dollars — placing their orders now to
ensure that they get America’s newest Silver Dollar — in
stunning Brilliant Uncirculated condition — before
millions of others beat them to it.
America’s Newest U.S. Eagle Silver Dollar
This is a newest release of one of the most beautiful silver
coins in the world. Today you have the opportunity to
secure these massive, hefty one full Troy ounce U.S. Silver
Dollars in stunning Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
These legal tender United States Silver Dollars feature a
nearly 100-year-old design of Lady Liberty striding
confidently forward while draped in a U.S. flag, while
the other side depicts a majestic U.S. eagle, thirteen
stars, and an American shield. But the clock is ticking.
The Most Affordable Precious Metal—
Silver is by far the most affordable of all precious metals
— and each full Troy ounce American Eagle Silver Dollar
is government-guaranteed for its 99.9% purity, authenticity,
and legal tender status.
A Coin Flip You Can’t Afford to Lose
Why are we releasing the most popular silver dollar in
America for a remarkably affordable price? We’re doing it
to introduce you to what hundreds of thousands of smart
collectors and satisfied customers have known since 1984 —
New York Mint is the place to find the world’s finest coins.
Timing is Everything
Our advice? Keep this to yourself. Tear out the page if you
have to, because the more people who know about this
offer, the worse it is for you. Demand for Silver Eagles in
recent years has shattered records. Experts predict that
2013 Silver Eagles may break them all over again. Supplies
are limited and there is a strict limit of 40 per household.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
You must be 100% satisfied with your 2013 Brilliant Uncir-
culated American Eagle Silver Dollars or return them within
30 days of receipt for a prompt refund (less all s/h). Don’t
miss out on this limited release. Call immediately to secure
these American Eagle Silver Dollars ahead of the crowd.
2013 American Eagle Silver Dollar BU
Your cost 1-4 Coins - $26.95 each + s/h
5-9 Coins - $26.75 each + s/h
10-19 Coins - $26.50 each + s/h
20-40 Coins - $26.25 each + s/h
Offer Limited to 40 per Household
For fastest service, call toll-free 24 hours a day
Offer Code TAE313-06
Please mention this code when you call.
Prices and availability subject to change without notice. Past performance is not a predictor of future performance. NOTE: New York Mint® is a private
distributor of worldwide government coin and currency issues and privately issued licensed collectibles and is not afﬁliated with the United States government.
Facts and ﬁgures deemed accurate as of June 2013. ©2013 New York Mint, LLC.
14101 Southcross Drive W., Dept. TAE313-06
Burnsville, Minnesota 55337
is 40.6 mm
Millions Demand America’s Purest Silver Dollar.
Secure Your New 2013 Silver Eagles Now!
Wedges of an orange
generate enough current
and electrical juice—3.5
volts—to power an LED.
The fruit’s citric acid
helps electrons ﬂow
from galvanized nails
to copper wire in this
phoTo: CaLEb CharLanD
10 national geographic • september 2013
Magma bombs explode,
forked lightning ﬂashes,
and ash clouds billow
as the 3,665-foot-tall
erupts in Kyushu. Dried
lava ﬂows from a massive
blast in 1914 connect
the former island to
the osumi peninsula.
phoTo: MarTin riETzE
Drawn to the sulfuric ﬁre
of a hand-lit acetylene
torch, mackerel leap en
masse into the nets of a
boat near new Taipei City.
a few elderly ﬁshermen—
working at night from May
to September—are the
last practitioners of this
phoTo: Chang Ming Chih
O Order prints of select National Geographic photos online at NationalGeographicArt.com.
16 national geographic • September 2013
visions | YoUR sHoT
EDITORS’ CHOICE Alexei Aliyev Nizhniy Tagil, Russia
When Alexei Aliyev’s family came back from a neighbor’s birthday party, they discovered that a
turkey had escaped from their farm. After his mother went to retrieve it, Aliyev stopped her so he
could take a photo in front of their house. “Photograph quickly,” she told him. “He is very heavy!”
On his way to photograph
waterfalls on the Ozark
Plateau, Rose passed a
pair of male elk—one
young, one older—shar-
ing a quiet moment, a
rarity among males that
often spar with each
other. Immediately after
Rose took this photo, the
bull stood and walked off.
This page features two photographs: one chosen by our editors and one chosen by our
readers via online voting. For more information, go to yourshot.nationalgeographic.com.
“We wanted to ‘give back’ to one of the most important non-proﬁt
organizations in the world. Over the years, we established a number
of charitable gift annuities with National Geographic. They provide us
generous income payments for life while allowing us to support their
research, exploration, education and conservation work.”
James and Rebecca Helm, New Hampshire
SAMPLE ANNUITY RATES FOR ONE BENEFICIARY: Age 60=4.4% Age 70=5.1% Age 80=6.8% Age 90+=9.0%
(Rates at other ages available upon request.) Rates are subject to change. Please contact us for the most current rates.
CONTACT US: Phone: (800) 226-4438 • Email: email@example.com • Web: www.nationalgeographic.org/donate
A charitable gift annuity is a safe, easy way to protect the planet while providing yourself with a steady
income. When you give a simple gift of cash or stocks, National Geographic will, in return, make reliable ﬁxed
payments to you for the rest of your life. You won’t have to worry about a ﬂuctuating stock market or economic
downturn, because annuity rates are ﬁxed at the time you give your gift. Most importantly, you’ll provide for
your future, while supporting the future of National Geographic’s conservation and research efforts.
Copyright © 2013 National Geographic Society
Include National Geographic in your ﬁnancial plans.
The National Geographic Society is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Tax ID# 53-0193519. 13PGFC09A
Yes!Please send me information about a National Geographic charitable gift annuity!
Birthdate #1 Birthdate #2
(Minimum age 50. Payments begin at age 60)
Other (Minimum gift $10,000)
$10,000Amt.: $50,000 $100,000
Send me information on including National Geographic in
I have already included National Geographic in my will.
Mail to: National Geographic Society
Ofﬁce of Estate Planning
1145 17th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-4688
visions | YoUR sHoT National Geographic Photography Contest
Best in Show
Nearly 22,000 images
were submitted to the 2012
annual National Geographic
Photo Contest, representing
more than 150 countries. Our
judges selected images by
Ashley Vincent, Nenad Saljic,
and Micah Albert as winners
in the categories of Nature,
Places, and People. The grand-
prize winner received $10,000
and an invitation to visit the
National Geographic head-
quarters in Washington, D.C.
NATuRE AND gRAND-pRIzE wINNER
Bang Lamung, Thailand
Vincent had shot hundreds of
photos of a tigress at Thailand’s
Khao Kheow Open Zoo. The
way the cat dried off after a dip
offered a dazzling new angle.
Vacationing in Switzerland near
the Matterhorn, Saljic awoke
one day at 3 a.m. feeling that
something might be happening.
“It was magic,” he says.
Fair Oaks, California
At the overﬁlled Dandora dump
in Nairobi, Kenya, Albert wanted
to document the health hazards
to the community and to the
people paid to sort trash.
O For more information, go to
WOW! That's what they said last year when the
12-carat "Pink Martian" diamond sold for
$17.4 million. They said it again this year when the
34-carat pink “Princie Diamond” fetched an amazing
$39 million at auction. "WOW!" has become the
official exclamation of stunning pink stones.
You probably said it when you saw this ring. You
definitely said it when you saw the price. Get used
to it. Because when you wear the Palos Pink
Ring, you're going to hear "WOW!"
all the time.
Pink stones make headlines for a reason. As
one of the rarest colored stones on Earth, pink
diamonds stir the passions of serious (and seriously
wealthy) gem collectors. The ownership of such
spectacular pink sparkle has been reserved for the
privileged few. But today you can bring home the
“pink” for ONLY $59!
Science conquers snobbery. While the idle rich
blow millions bidding on massive rocks, scientists
have been hard at work reinventing the idea of
luxury. The results are simply stunning. Every
brilliant facet is proof that our exclusive, lab-created
DiamondAura is more than a diamond alternative,
it’s a diamond superlative.
Our blush-colored rounds are bolder, brighter and
shine with more clarity than diamonds. The “fire”
inside DiamondAura actually surpasses what you see
in flawless mined stones... for 99.999% less! Looking
at them in .925 sterling silver, only one word comes
We guarantee you'll love this ring. Wear the
Palos for 30 days. If you're not impressed, simply
send it back for a full refund of your purchase price.
It’s that simple. But it’s also more likely that once you
see it up close, the ring and the radiance will be
impossible to resist.
Smart Luxuries—Surprising Prices™
14101 Southcross Drive W., Dept. PPK152-01,
Burnsville, Minnesota 55337
This offer is limited to the first 2500 orders to this ad only, so call NOW!
Promotional Code PPK152-01
Please mention this code when you call.
You are cordially invited to RETHINK PINK with the $59 Palos Ring!
Palos Pink DiamondAura®
Ring (2 2/5 ctw)— Appraised at —Only $59 +S&P
* For more information concerning the appraisal, visit
For more information, please call
The Ofﬁce of Estate Planning at National Geographic
Tel: (800) 226-4438 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Geographic is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
FOR YEARS, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC has enriched your life at home.
Now, for the ﬁrst time, your home can enrich National Geographic—and
the world. Your donation of real estate (a home, second home, or other
property) beneﬁts the planet by supporting research and exploration. The
same donation beneﬁts you by providing a substantial tax break. Contact
National Geographic to learn how your home can make all the difference
in the world.
PHOTO: RAMESH RATWATTE COPYRIGHT © 2013 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Give a Home. Give Hope.
GIFTS OF REAL ESTATE:
A NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION
photo: Mark thiessen, nGM staff. Bats Courtesy DaviD kretsChMann, usDa forest serviCe 21
Slugger’s Dilemma Major leaguers broke 1,697
baseball bats between July and september 2012. it’s not surprising, given what
the skinny piece of wood has to withstand. When a 90-plus-mile-an-hour pitch
makes contact, it exerts about 8,000 pounds of force, and vibrations ripple
across the bat. if the ball hits a weak spot, the wood may break. ash generally
holds up. today, though, more players, many out of superstition or bat feel,
prefer maple bats, which constitute 64 percent of all sales.
But maple’s grain—shaped into a bat—can make the wood weaker. scientists
are studying broken major league bats to improve maple bats’ stamina and
develop regulations to avoid multiple-piece breaks to prevent injury. inside
pitches are the culprit about two-thirds of the time, catching the bat at its
thinnest. “if batters could always hit in the sweet spot,” says patrick Drane,
assistant director of the Baseball research Center at the university of Massa-
chusetts Lowell, “you’d pretty much not have broken bats ever.” —Johnna Rizzo
• Dognition helps you discover how your dog
communicates with you through behavioral signals,
and your dog’s health is communicated through
physical cues, such as a radiant coat, healthy
skin, and limber joints.
• Purina ONE focused on what active dogs need and
crave in developing SmartBlend True Instinct, which
features quality nutrition to support whole body
health, including omega-6 fatty acids, natural
sources of glucosamine, and a dual defense
• Whether it’s your dog’s mind or body, Purina ONE
is committed to helping you better
understand your pet.
Understanding Your Dog’s
Visit PurinaONE.com/instinct to ﬁnd out more.
density for active
Created with Purina ONE by
DR. BRIAN HARE is associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke
University and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center. With his wife,
researcher Vanessa Woods, Dr. Hare authored The New York Times bestseller,
“The Genius of Dogs,” and co-founded Dognition.
Hare played some basic games
with his childhood dog, Oreo, that
tested his intrinsic instincts. When
he pointed in different directions
to help Oreo retrieve toys or locate
hidden food, his dog would respond
to his gestures every time.
From these basic experiments,
a revolution in dog cognitive science
was born. The genius of dogs is that
“they use humans like computers, to
solve problems,” says Dr. Hare. Later
experiments proved that the dog’s
ancestor, the wolf, and even pri-
mates, do not similarly follow human
cues. In partnership with Purina
ONE and other supporters, Dr. Hare
recently co-founded Dognition, a
service that enables all dog lovers
to get a fresh perspective on how
their dog sees the world—while
also contributing to the largest
research database ever produced
on the dog mind, enabling a better
understanding of all dogs.
Dognition assesses your dog’s
forms of intelligence through a series
of simple and eye-opening games.
These exercises reveal dogs’ cogni-
tive proﬁle in ﬁve areas: empathy,
communication, memory, cunning,
and reasoning. For example, one test
involves putting food under one of
two cups in full view of the dog, then
pointing to the empty cup. If your
dog follows your gesture, his typical
problem-solving strategy is through
communication; if he chooses the
test helps determine empathy: When
you yawn, does your dog follow suit?
Comparing your dog’s mindset with
all other dogs in the assessment
reveals your dog’s unique genius.
Participants input results and re-
ceive a custom report that assesses
Renaissance Dog, Charmer, and Ace.
At Dognition.com owners can get
the ﬁrst two dimensions at no cost
or purchase a complete Dognition
Assessment Toolkit. “In the three
months since Dognition launched,
we’ve measured more dogs than
I’ve been able to do in ten years” at
his lab, says Dr. Hare.
He points out that dog intelli-
gence isn’t a number, like an IQ.
“The question isn’t whether your
dog is smart or not,” he says, “but
rather, what are the skills your dog
is using to be so successful?” Dr.
Hare measures canines’ “success”
in terms of charming humans to
give them complete care: “You love,
feed, and clean up after your dog!”
Purina ONE’s involvement with
Dognition is a natural extension of
its mission to leverage scientific
innovations to help owners provide
the best possible care for their dogs.
“Dognition and Purina ONE have
the same goal, which is to enhance
the lives of dogs,” says Dr. Hare.
“Purina ONE focuses on what goes
inside and we focus on the mind
of the dog and helping people
understand what makes their dog
As in humans, there’s a mind-
body connection that may beneﬁt
from canine cognition research.
“What’s exciting about Purina ONE
is that they’re engaged in cutting-
edge science” that may continue
to reveal dietary formulas that can
help enhance canine cognitive
performance. It’s an “aha” moment
that may soon be at hand, thanks
to Dognition and the help of dog
lovers around the world. |
CU N NI
The “aha” moment
happened 15 years ago
in his parents’garage.
“My academic advisor
said that humans have
a unique ability that
allows them to develop
a culture and language—
he was talking about
gestures,” says Dr. Brian
Hare, founder of the
Duke Canine Cognition
Center. “I said, ‘I think
my dog can do that!’”
HannaH Tak, nGM STaff. arT: Marc JOHnS; aMerican TObaccO (Peck card); nGM arT (MaSk). nGM MaPS
for centuries female explorers got to pursue their ambitions only in disguise or
against ﬁerce resistance. if they somehow succeeded, society often ignored
them or, worse, treated them as superwomen, because that was a way, egyptian
feminist Huda Shaarawi wrote, “to avoid recognizing the capabilities of all women.”
With that in mind, this quiz celebrates ordinary women doing extraordinary things.
This quiz is the ﬁfth of seven to run in 2013 to
celebrate national Geographic’s 125th anniversary.
The next quiz will appear in October.
e X P L o r e
1. WHO WAS THE
TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE THE EARTH?
A. Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz B. Naomi
James C. Tania Aebi D. Jeanne Baret
WHICH IS THE BEST
KNOWN AMONG THE
AND ARTIFACTS SUE
HAS DISCOVERED AROUND
THE WORLD? A. The keel of
the Santa María, lost on Christ-
mas Day, 1492 B. “Sue,”
a Tyrannosaurus rex
C. A fossilized giant
squid D. An ancient
shoe crab trapped
AFTER RETIRING FROM HER NURS-
ING CAREER SOME YEARS AGO,
BARBARA HILLARYDECIDED TOTRAVEL. AT THE AGE OF 79 SHE BECAME
THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO DO WHAT? A. Dive
to the Titanic B. Visit both the North and
South Poles C. Summit Everest D.
Swim the English Channel
THE NEW YORK
TIMES NAMED HER
ONE OF THE LEADING
IN THE WORLD. WHO
WAS SHE? A. Annie Edson Tay-
lor B. Harriet Chalmers Adams
C. Nellie Bly D. Amelia Earhart
IN 1910 A CIGA-
RETTE COMPANY FEATURED
MISS ANNIE SMITH
ON ITS TRADING
CARD SERIES OF
“THE WORLD’S GREATEST
EXPLORERS.” WHO WAS SHE?
A. The ﬁrst per-
son to bring
eel from South America B. A
solo traveler down the length
of the Amazon C. A pioneer-
ing mountain climber D. A
biologist tracking jaguars solo
MISSY MAZZOLI’S 2012 OPERA
SONG FROM THE UPROAR
IS BASED ON THE LIFE OF WHICH
FEMALE EXPLORER IN AFRICA?
NEXT | EXplorErs Quiz
find anSWerS On PaGe 29.
TOO MANY DISCOUNTS?
NO SUCH THING.
AT PROGRESSIVE, WE’VE GOT TONS OF WAYS
TO HELP YOU SAVE. Like our great discounts for
being a safe driver, paying in full or just going
paperless! And don’t forget the average savings
of $519 our customers get by switching to
Progressive for their car insurance. Giving you the
discounts you deserve. Now that’s Progressive.
Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and afﬁliates. Auto insurance prices and products are different when purchased
directly from Progressive or through independent agents/brokers. National annual average savings by new
customers surveyed who saved with Progressive November 2012–March 2013. 11D00067.NG (06/13)
LEARN MORE. SCAN HERE.
photo: GeorGe Steinmetz. Graphic: Álvaro valiÑo. art: meSa Schumacher
Source: norbert JuerGenS, univerSity of hamburG
Desert Rings thousands of fairy circles
dot southern africa’s deserts. cultural lore has long attributed
the grassy loops to supernatural causes. new research points
to a more earthly source. ecologist norbert Juergens found
Psammotermes allocerus, a termite species that lives in sand,
under almost all of the nearly 2,000 circles he visited. “the
termites are damaging the roots of the grasses that germi-
nate in the bare patch,” says Juergens.
the termite-engineered ecosystem comes with beneﬁts.
a lack of plants above the nest means the soil retains more
water for the insects to consume. a circle forms when nearby
grasses tap into the new reservoir and grow thicker, up to
three feet tall. the combination of soil moisture and durable
grass can bring additional life to a barren area, providing a
haven for ants, bees, and even some mammals. —Daniel Stone
1 heavy rains
that fall between
January and march
help small patches
of grass grow
quickly in the
2 termites eat any
grass roots above
their nest, leaving
a barren circle.
With no vegetation,
rain collects in the
porous soil below.
3 extra groundwater
allows the outside
ring of grass to
grow taller. termites
eat deeper roots
sparingly to sustain
the food source.
there are 52 bones in the feet—about
25 percent of a human body’s total.
photos: Rebecca hale, ngm staff. collection of pam longobaRdi. ngm maps
0 mi 2,000
0 km 2,000
SCALE AT 30˚N
North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
CurrentWork pam longo
bardi is an artist—and a trash collector. pieces
of carefully tagged plastic debris she’s picked
up from coasts around the world ﬁll her atlanta,
georgia, studio. many of the seaworn toys, tangled
nets, and ﬁshing ﬂoats were spewed onto beaches
from hawaii to california by currents of the north
paciﬁc gyre, and thousands of the pieces will ﬁnd
their way into her art.
now longobardi has more to work with. she was
part of a team of scientists and artists on the 2013
gyre expedition. the group traveled to alaska’s
Kenai peninsula and Katmai national park to collect
and source gyrecarried trash. a traveling exhibit
of scientiﬁc ﬁndings and art made from the debris
is planned for 2014. —Margaret G. Zackowitz
the north paciﬁc gyre is a system of currents that
swirl in a massive circuit, picking up debris from
one coast and depositing it on shores elsewhere.
learn more and see videos from the 2013 gyre expedition
Mr. Bigshot rolled up in a roaring high-performance
Italian sports car, dropping attitude like his
$14,000 watch made it okay for him to be rude. That’s
when I decided to roll up my sleeves and teach him
“Nice watch,” I said, pointing to his and holding up
mine. He nodded like we belonged to the same club.
We did, but he literally paid 100 times more for his
membership. Bigshot bragged about his five-figure
purchase, a luxury heavyweight from the titan of high-
priced timepieces. I told him that mine was the Stauer
Corso, a 27-jewel automatic classic now available
for only $179. And just like that, the man was at a loss
The Stauer Corso is proof that the worth of a watch
doesn’t depend on the size of its price tag. Our factory
spent over $40 million on Swiss-made machinery to insure the
highest quality parts. Each timepiece takes six months and over
200 individual precision parts to create the complex assembly.
Peer through the exhibition back to see the 27-jeweled automatic
movement in action and you’ll understand why we can only offer
the Corso in a limited edition.
Our specialty is vintage automatic movements. The Corso is
driven by a self-winding design, inspired by a 1923 patent.
Your watch will never need batteries. Every second of power is
generated by the movement of your body. The dial features a
trio of complications including a graphic day/night display.
The Corso secures with a two-toned stainless steel bracelet and
is water-resistant to 3 ATM.
Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Test drive the Stauer
Corso. If you don’t love it, send it back within 30 days and we’ll
refund every dollar of your purchase price. And you’re welcome to
keep the $99 sunglasses as our gift! Spending more doesn’t make
you smarter. But saving thousands on a watch this stunning will
leave you feeling (and looking) like a genius!
27-jeweled Vertex automatic movement - Interior dials - Transparent caseback - Dual-toned stainless steel case and bracelet band fits wrists 6 ½"–9"
Only the “Robin Hood of Watchmakers” can steal
the spotlight from a luxury legend for under $200!
How to Outsmart
Order the Stauer
Corso and these
(a $99 value) are
A Stauer Exclusive Not Sold in Stores
Ostentatious Overpriced Competitors Price
Stauer’s Corso Timepiece — PLUS Free $99 Stauer
Sunglasses — only $179 +S&P
Call now to take advantage of this fantastic offer with our 30-day money back guarantee.
Promotional Code CSW415-06
Please mention this code when you call.
Scan to see
14101 Southcross Drive W.,
Burnsville, Minnesota 55337
VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY.
Victorinox Swiss Army’s Night
Vision integrates exclusive
design features including,
low-consumption LED light
modules for dial illumination,
ﬂashlight, and strobe functions.
The incorporation of advanced
lighting features into the
classic codes of a Swiss watch
makes the Night Vision a
multifunctional and unique
instrument of extreme utility.
ON LAND, IN THE
AIR, AND UNDER
THE SEA, NATIONAL
...capturing the world’s
greatest moments in its
quest to discover what
lies over the horizon. This
celebrates the legendary
and discoveries that have
changed the world and
inspired a new age of exploration.
*In digital cameras vs. Energizer MAX®. Results vary by camera.
**Use less batteries, create less waste.
© 2013 Energizer
THE GREAT ENERGY CHALLENGE.
The future of energy is an issue that touches every person
on the planet. National Geographic, in partnership with Shell,
launched The Great Energy Challenge to look at this issue
from all angles. Visit GreatEnergyChallenge.com and read
about the latest innovations in Energy News, participate
and be heard in the Energy Blog, test your knowledge
with interactive quizzes, and learn about game-changing
projects around the world supported by the initiative.
Get started now at GreatEnergyChallenge.com
ENERGIZER® ULTIMATE LITHIUM.
This is ultimate power.
When you want the world’s longest-lasting AA battery in
high-tech devices, look to Energizer® Ultimate Lithium.
It lasts up to 9x longer*, which means up to 9x less waste**.
With superior performance like that, it’s all the power you need.
photo: Nigel DeNNis. graphic: Mesa schuMacher
ANSWERS FOR EXPLORERS QUIZ
1. (D) Jeanne Baret. When French botanist philibert commerson
joined louis-antoine de Bougainville’s 1766-1769 expedition
around the world, Baret disguised herself as a man and signed
on as commerson’s valet. she was evidently both his lover and an
expert botanist, and she did much of the work of collecting plants,
probably including the ﬂowering vine now known as bougainvillea.
2. (c) a pioneering mountain climber. Born to a prominent rhode
island family, peck discovered her love for climbing at the age of
44. she went on to make many difﬁcult climbs in south america
and elsewhere. she once planted a suffragist’s ﬂag saying “Votes
for Women” at the top of Mount coropuna in peru.
3. (a) isabelle eberhardt. a swiss-born convert to islam, eberhardt
traveled in northern algeria dressed as a man. calling herself si
Mahmoud essadi, she joined a suﬁ order, the Qadiriyya, which
focused on spiritual well-being for Muslims. she documented her
travels in articles and books before drowning in a ﬂood. her life
inspired the opera Song From the Uproar and a 1991 ﬁlm.
4. (B) “sue,” a Tyrannosaurus rex. self-taught explorer sue hendrick-
son specializes in fossils trapped in amber and marine archaeology.
But in 1990, while searching in the Black hills of south Dakota,
she and her golden retriever found what turned out to be the
largest known specimen of T. rex. “sue,” as the ﬁnd was named
in hendrickson’s honor, is now on display at the Field Museum, in
5. (B) harriet chalmers adams. Between 1907 and 1935, adams
contributed 21 articles to National Geographic magazine. travel-
ing mainly through south america, often on horseback, adams
was bitten by vampire bats and suffered a broken back. But
she also declared that she had “never faced a difﬁculty which a
woman, as well as a man, could not surmount.” she helped form
the society of Women geographers in 1925.
6. (B) Visit both the North and south poles. having survived breast
and lung cancer, hillary fell in love with the far north after taking
a dogsledding trip in the arctic. then she learned that a black
woman had never been to the North pole. “Wouldn’t it be better
to die doing something interesting,” she said, “than to drop dead
in an ofﬁce and the last thing you see is someone you don’t like?”
she made it to the North pole in 2007 and the south pole in 2011.
the world’s smallest known vertebrate is the
Paedophryne amauensis frog of New guinea. Actual size
Pangolin’s Peril the pangolin is in trouble.
tens of thousands have been traded illegally across asia since
2000, according to estimates. it’s a trade that ranks them as one of
the most trafﬁcked mammals in southeast asia, above even rhinos
and elephants. single seizures in indonesia and Vietnam have
counted 15 metric tons of the house cat–size creatures, part of a
massive harvesting for meat and medicine that has resulted in their
disappearance from sections of their range, says chris shepherd of
wildlife trade monitoring group trafﬁc. Now the trade is invading
sub-saharan africa, the pangolin’s other home. —Christopher Solomon
Asian and African (above)
pangolins are armored with
up to a thousand scales—
sold to treat ailments from
low lactation to cancer.
Superstorm Sandy narrowed New Jersey’s beaches
by more than 30 feet on average. At Seaside Heights
it swept away the pier under the roller coaster.
30 Stephen WilkeS
People at risk in those cities
Value of assets at risk
Large coastal cities now at risk from sea-level rise
as the planet warms,
the sea rises. Coastlines food.
What will we protect?
What will we abandon?
How will we face the danger of
43Deaths in New
Height of Sandy’s surge at Battery Park
In Manhattan, Sandy’s surging tide knocked out a Con Ed substation, darkening
the city below Midtown. Private generators provided some light, including the
blue glow of the new World Trade Center, whose base is three feet above sea level.
Damages in the city
iWan Baan, RepoRtage By getty imageS
By the time Sandy struck the Northeast, as a
NASA computer model (above) had predicted
four days earlier, it had killed 72 people in the
Caribbean. It was no longer a hurricane—but
it was a thousand miles wide, with 80-mile-an-
hour winds that drove the sea onto the coast
in lethal surges. Te fnal death toll was 147.
As the world warms, it may see more storms
like Sandy. It will certainly see higher seas.
tHe daMage done
BRooklyn, neW yoRk
BReezy point, QueenS, neW yoRk
hoBoken, neW JeRSey
SaBana peRdida, dominican RepuBlic
left: William putnam, naSa goddaRd Space flight centeR. aBove (fRom top, left to Right): kiRSten luc
afp photo; JB nicholaS, SplaSh neWS/coRBiS; ken cedeno, coRBiS; chaRleS SykeS, ap imageS; geoRge S
ce, neW yoRk timeS/Redux; poRt authoRity of neW yoRk & neW JeRSey,
Steinmetz; RicaRdo RoJaS, ReuteRS; andReW BuRton, getty imageS
aBove (fRom top, left to Right): Steve eaRley, Virginian-Pilot; michael kiRBy Smith, neW yoRk timeS/Redux; ken cedeno, coRBiS; chang W. lee, neW yoRk timeS/Redux;
John minchillo, ap imageS
h, neW JeRSey
, hoBoken, neW JeRSey Rodanthe, noRth caRolina
RockaWay paRk, QueenS, neW yoRk
Staten iSland, neW yoRk
Staten iSland, neW yoRkStaten iSland, neW yoRk
g, neW JeRSey
An orange line sprayed on this condemned house—and on Robb Braidwood
of the Chesapeake,Virginia,Ofce of Emergency Management—marks the
typical food height in the neighborhood. “It doesn’t take a major storm,” says
Braidwood. “Heavy rain and the right wind during a high tide will do it.”
maRk thieSSen, ngm Staff
by tim folger
photographs by george steinmetz
By tHe tiMe
coast of the United States last October 29, it had
mauled several countries in the Caribbean and
lef dozens dead. Faced with the largest storm
ever spawned over the Atlantic, New York and
other cities ordered mandatory evacuations of
low-lying areas. Not everyone complied. Tose
who chose to ride out Sandy got a preview of
the future, in which a warmer world will lead
to inexorably rising seas.
Brandon d’Leo, a 43-year-old sculptor and
surfer, lives on the Rockaway Peninsula, a nar-
row, densely populated, 11-mile-long sandy strip
that juts from the western end of Long Island.
Like many of his neighbors, d’Leo had remained
at home through Hurricane Irene the year be-
fore. “When they told us the tidal surge from
this storm would be worse, I wasn’t afraid,” he
says. Tat would soon change.
D’Leo rents a second-floor apartment in a
three-story house across the street from the beach
on the peninsula’s southern shore. At about 3:30
in the afernoon he went outside. Waves were
crashing against the fve-and-a-half-mile-long
boardwalk. “Water had already begun to breach
the boardwalk,” he says. “I thought, Wow, we still
have four and a half hours until high tide. In ten
minutes the water probably came ten feet closer
to the street.”
Back in his apartment, d’Leo and a neighbor,
Davina Grincevicius, watched the sea as wind-
driven rain pelted the sliding glass door of his
living room. His landlord, fearing the house
might food, had shut of the electricity. As dark-
ness fell, Grincevicius saw something alarming.
“I think the boardwalk just moved,” she said.
Within minutes another surge of water lifed the
boardwalk again. It began to snap apart.
Tree large sections of the boardwalk smashed
A.D. 1 500
Sea level (feet)
Zero is set to sea level in 1992.
today’s; the Northern Hemisphere was largely
ice free year-round. It would take centuries for
the oceans to reach such catastrophic heights
again, and much depends on whether we man-
age to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. In
the short term scientists are still uncertain about
how fast and how high seas will rise. Estimates
have repeatedly been too conservative.
Global warming afects sea level in two ways.
About a third of its current rise comes from
thermal expansion—from the fact that water
grows in volume as it warms. Te rest comes
from the melting of ice on land. So far it’s been
mostly mountain glaciers, but the big concern
for the future is the giant ice sheets in Greenland
and Antarctica. Six years ago the Intergovern-
mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued
a report predicting a maximum of 23 inches of
sea-level rise by the end of this century. But that
report intentionally omitted the possibility that
the ice sheets might fow more rapidly into the
sea, on the grounds that the physics of that pro-
cess was poorly understood.
Te street had become a four-foot-deep river, as
wave afer wave poured water onto the penin-
sula. Cars began to foat in the churning water,
their wailing alarms adding to the cacophony
of wind, rushing water, and cracking wood. A
bobbing red Mini Cooper, its headlights fash-
ing, became wedged against one of the pine
trees in the front yard. To the west the sky lit
up with what looked like freworks—electrical
transformers were exploding in Breezy Point,
a neighborhood near the tip of the peninsula.
More than one hundred homes there burned to
the ground that night.
Te trees in the front yard saved d’Leo’s house,
and maybe the lives of everyone inside—d’Leo,
Grincevicius, and two elderly women who lived
in an apartment downstairs. “Tere was no op-
tion to get out,” d’Leo says. “I have six surfoards
in my apartment, and I was thinking, if anything
comes through the wall, I’ll try to get everyone
on those boards and try to get up the block. But
if we’d had to get in that water, it wouldn’t have
Afer a ftful night’s sleep d’Leo went outside
shortly before sunrise. Te water had receded,
but thigh-deep pools still flled parts of some
streets. “Everything was covered with sand,” he
says. “It looked like another planet.”
A profoundly altered planet is what our
fossil-fuel-driven civilization is creating, a planet
where Sandy-scale fooding will become more
common and more destructive for the world’s
coastal cities. By releasing carbon dioxide and
other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere,
we have warmed the Earth by more than a full
degree Fahrenheit over the past century and
raised sea level by about eight inches. Even if
we stopped burning all fossil fuels tomorrow,
the existing greenhouse gases would continue to
warm the Earth for centuries. We have irrevers-
ibly committed future generations to a hotter
world and rising seas.
In May the concentration of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million,
the highest since three million years ago. Sea lev-
els then may have been as much as 65 feet above
Sea level didn’t change much for nearly
2,000 years, judging from sediment
cores. it began to rise in the late 19th
century, as earth started to warm. if sea
level continues to track temperature, it
could rise three feet or more by 2100.
the great unknown: the future of the ice
sheets. noaa’s four scenarios, shown
here, span the range of possibilities for
2100. the sea will keep rising after that.
40 national geographic • September 2013
21001000 1500 2013
Observed ProjectedReconstructed from sediment samples
As the IPCC prepares to issue a new report
this fall, in which the sea-level forecast is expect-
ed to be slightly higher, gaps in ice-sheet science
remain. But climate scientists now estimate that
Greenland and Antarctica combined have lost
on average about 50 cubic miles of ice each year
since 1992—roughly 200 billion metric tons of
ice annually. Many think sea level will be at least
three feet higher than today by 2100. Even that
fgure might be too low.
“In the last several years we’ve observed accel-
erated melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and
West Antarctica,” says Radley Horton, a research
scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute
in New York City. “Te concern is that if the ac-
celeration continues, by the time we get to the
end of the 21st century, we could see sea-level
rise of as much as six feet globally instead of two
to three feet.” Last year an expert panel convened
by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad-
ministration adopted 6.6 feet (two meters) as its
highest of four scenarios for 2100. Te U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers recommends that planners
consider a high scenario of fve feet.
One of the biggest wild cards in all sea-level-
rise scenarios is the massive Twaites Glacier in
West Antarctica. Four years ago NASA spon-
sored a series of fights over the region that used
ice-penetrating radar to map the seafoor topog-
raphy. Te fights revealed that a 2,000-foot-high
undersea ridge holds the Twaites Glacier in
place, slowing its slide into the sea. A rising sea
could allow more water to seep between ridge
and glacier and eventually unmoor it. But no
one knows when or if that will happen.
“Tat’s one place I’m really nervous about,”
says Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State
University and an author of the last IPCC report.
“It involves the physics of ice fracture that we
really don’t understand.” If the Twaites Glacier
breaks free from its rocky berth, that would
liberate enough ice to raise sea level by three
meters—nearly ten feet. “Te odds are in our
favor that it won’t put three meters in the ocean
in the next century,” says Alley. “But we can’t
absolutely guarantee that. Tere’s at least some
laWSon paRkeR, ngm Staff. SouRceS: JoSh WilliS, naSa/Jpl; John chuRch and neil White, commonWealth Scientific
and induStRial ReSeaRch oRganiSation; andReW kemp et al., 2011; R. Steven neRem et al., 2010; noaa
local measurements of sea level with
tide gauges became common after
1880; satellites began global mea-
surements in 1992. they’ve shown a
clear acceleration: at an eighth of an
inch a year, sea level is rising twice as
fast as it was a few decades ago.
42 national geographic • September 2013
tahumming glacieR, BRitiSh columBia
Thermal expansion Glaciers and ice caps
as seawater warms, its volume
increases. this thermal expan-
sion accounts for around a third
of the current sea-level rise.
melting mountain glaciers contribute
another third. By 2100 they’ll probably
add a few inches to sea level—but not
feet. they don’t contain that much ice.
Rising Sea Levels
locally, sea level can rise because the land is
sinking. globally, it rises because the total vol-
ume of seawater is increasing. global warming
drives that in two basic ways: by warming the
ocean and by melting ice on land, which adds
more water. Since 1900 global sea level has
risen about eight inches. it’s now rising at about
an eighth of an inch a year—and accelerating.
you see—look there,” he says, pointing to some
large boulders scattered among the trees near
his home. “Tey’re glacial boulders.”
Bowman, a physical oceanographer at the
State University of New York at Stony Brook, has
been trying for years to persuade anyone who
will listen that New York City needs a harbor-
spanning storm-surge barrier. Compared with
some other leading ports, New York is essen-
tially defenseless in the face of hurricanes and
foods. London, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, New
Orleans, and Shanghai have all built levees and
storm barriers in the past few decades. New York
paid a high price for its vulnerability last Octo-
ber. Sandy lef 43 dead in the city, of whom 35
drowned; it cost the city some $19 billion. And
it was all unnecessary, says Bowman.
“If a system of properly designed storm-surge
barriers had been built—and strengthened with
sand dunes at both ends along the low-lying
coastal areas—there would have been no food-
ing damage from Sandy,” he says.
Bowman envisions two barriers: one at Trogs
Neck, to keep surges from Long Island Sound
chance that something very nasty will happen.”
Even in the absence of something very nasty,
coastal cities face a twofold threat: Inexorably
rising oceans will gradually inundate low-lying
areas, and higher seas will extend the ruinous
reach of storm surges. Te threat will never go
away; it will only worsen. By the end of the cen-
tury a hundred-year storm surge like Sandy’s
might occur every decade or less. Using a con-
servative prediction of a half meter (20 inches)
of sea-level rise, the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development estimates that
by 2070, 150 million people in the world’s large
port cities will be at risk from coastal fooding,
along with $35 trillion worth of property—an
amount that will equal 9 percent of the global
GDP. How will they cope?
“During the last ice age there was a mile or
two of ice above us right here,” says Malcolm
Bowman, as we pull into his driveway in Stony
Brook, New York, on Long Island’s north shore.
“When the ice retreated, it lef a heap of sand,
which is Long Island. All these rounded stones
Rising Seas 43
BiRthday canyon, gReenland pine iSland glacieR, WeSt antaRctica
Greenland ice sheet Antarctica, East and West
it’s a small contributor now, but its surface
has started melting in summer—a worrisome
sign. the ice sheet contains enough water
to raise sea level nearly 25 feet.
east antarctica seems fairly stable. But parts
of West antarctica’s ice sheet are being
undermined by a warming ocean. its future,
like greenland’s, is very uncertain.
Tim Folger wrote about tsunamis for the February
2012 issue. George Steinmetz has photographed 28
stories for the magazine, the last one on Libya.
JameS Balog, extReme ice SuRvey (left and centeR); maRia Stenzel
out of the East River, and a second one span-
ning the harbor south of the city. Gates would
accommodate ships and tides, closing only dur-
ing storms, much like existing structures in the
Netherlands and elsewhere. Te southern bar-
rier alone, stretching fve miles between Sandy
Hook, New Jersey, and the Rockaway Peninsula,
might cost $10 billion to $15 billion, Bowman
estimates. He pictures a six-lane toll highway on
top that would provide a bypass route around
the city and a light-rail line connecting the New-
ark and John F. Kennedy Airports.
“It could be an asset to the region,” says Bow-
man. “Eventually the city will have to face up to
this, because the problem is going to get worse.
It might take fve years of study and another ten
years to get the political will to do it. By then
there might have been another disaster. We need
to start planning immediately. Otherwise we’re
mortgaging the future and leaving the next gen-
eration to cope as best it can.”
Another way to safeguard New York might
be to revive a bit of its past. In the 16th-foor
lof of her landscape architectural frm in lower
Manhattan, Kate Orf pulls out a map of New
York Harbor in the 19th century. Te present-
day harbor shimmers outside her window, calm
and unthreatening on an unseasonably mild
morning three months to the day afer Sandy hit.
“Here’s an archipelago that protected Red
Hook,” Orf says, pointing on the map to a small
cluster of islands of the Brooklyn shore. “Tere
was another chain of shoals that connected San-
dy Hook to Coney Island.”
Te islands and shallows vanished long ago,
demolished by harbor-dredging and landfill
projects that added new real estate to a bur-
geoning city. Orff would re-create some of
them, particularly the Sandy Hook–Coney Is-
land chain, and connect them with sluice gates
that would close during a storm, forming an
eco-engineered barrier that would cross the same
waters as Bowman’s more conventional one. Be-
hind it, throughout the harbor, would be dozens
A seawall now protects Maale, capital of the Maldives, an Indian
Ocean archipelago that is the lowest, fattest country on Earth. By
2100 rising seas may force Maldivians to abandon their home. More
than100,000 live on this island, on three-quarters of a square mile.
394,000Total population of the Maldives
Dangerously exposed to the next typhoon, squatter families
crowd waterfront shanties in Manila, the Philippines. Global
sea-level rise is amplifed there by rapidly subsiding land.
625,000Flood-zone squatters in Manila
48 national geographic • September 2013
metropolitan region urgently needs a master plan
to ensure that future construction will at least not
exacerbate the hazards from rising seas.
“Te problem is we’re still building the city of
the past,” says Jacob. “Te people of the 1880s
couldn’t build a city for the year 2000—of course
not. And we cannot build a year-2100 city now.
But we should not build a city now that we know
will not function in 2100. Tere are opportuni-
ties to renew our infrastructure. It’s not all bad
news. We just have to grasp those opportunities.”
Will New York grasp them afer Bloomberg
leaves ofce at the end of this year? And can a
single storm change not just a city’s but a nation’s
policy? It has happened before. Te Netherlands
had its own stormy reckoning 60 years ago, and
it transformed the country.
Te storm roared in from the North Sea on
the night of January 31, 1953. Ria Geluk was six
years old at the time and living where she lives
today, on the island of Schouwen Duiveland in
the southern province of Zeeland. She remem-
bers a neighbor knocking on the door of her
parents’ farmhouse in the middle of the night to
tell them that the dike had failed. Later that day
the whole family, along with several neighbors
who had spent the night, climbed to the roof,
where they huddled in blankets and heavy coats
in the wind and rain. Geluk’s grandparents lived
just across the road, but water swept into the
village with such force that they were trapped in
their home. Tey died when it collapsed.
“Our house kept standing,” says Geluk. “Te
next afernoon the tide came again. My father
could see around us what was happening; he
could see houses disappearing. You knew when
a house disappeared, the people were killed. In
the afernoon a fshing boat came to rescue us.”
In1997 Geluk helped found the Watersnood-
museum—the “food museum”—on Schouwen
Duiveland. Te museum is housed in four con-
crete caissons that engineers used to plug dikes
in 1953. Te disaster killed 1,836 in all, nearly
half in Zeeland, including a baby born on the
night of the storm.
Aferward the Dutch launched an ambitious
of artificial reefs built from stone, rope, and
wood pilings and seeded with oysters and other
shellfsh. Te reefs would continue to grow as sea
levels rose, helping to bufer storm waves—and
the shellfsh, being flter feeders, would also help
clean the harbor. “Twenty-fve percent of New
York Harbor used to be oyster beds,” Orf says.
Orf estimates her “oystertecture” vision could
be brought to life at relatively low cost. “It would
be chump change compared with a conventional
barrier. And it wouldn’t be money wasted: Even
if another Sandy never happens, you’d have a
cleaner, restored harbor in a more ecologically
vibrant context and a healthier New York.”
In June, Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined
can a single storm
policy? it happened
in the netherlands
in 1953, after the
dikes failed and
1,836 people died.
a $19.5 billion plan to defend New York City
against rising seas. “Sandy was a temporary set-
back that can ultimately propel us forward,” he
said. Te mayor’s proposal calls for the construc-
tion of levees, local storm-surge barriers, sand
dunes, oyster reefs, and more than 200 other
measures. It goes far beyond anything planned
by any other American city. But the mayor dis-
missed the idea of a harbor barrier. “A giant
barrier across our harbor is neither practical
nor afordable,” Bloomberg said. Te plan notes
that since a barrier would remain open most of
the time, it would not protect the city from the
inch-by-inch creep of sea-level rise.
Meanwhile, development in the city’s food
zones continues. Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist at
Columbia University, says the entire New York
program of dike and barrier construction called
the Delta Works, which lasted more than four
decades and cost more than six billion dol-
lars. One crucial project was the fve-mile-long
Oosterscheldekering, or Eastern Scheldt bar-
rier, completed 27 years ago to defend Zeeland
from the sea. Geluk points to it as we stand on a
bank of the Scheldt estuary near the museum, its
enormous pylons just visible on the horizon. Te
fnal component of the Delta Works, a movable
barrier protecting Rotterdam Harbor and some
1.5 million people, was fnished in 1997.
Like other primary sea barriers in the Neth-
erlands, it’s built to withstand a 1-in-10,000-year
storm—the strictest standard in the world. (Te
United States uses a 1-in-100 standard.) The
Dutch government is now considering whether
to upgrade the protection levels to bring them
in line with sea-level-rise projections.
Such measures are a matter of national secu-
rity for a country where 26 percent of the land
lies below sea level. With more than 10,000 miles
of dikes, the Netherlands is fortifed to such an
extent that hardly anyone thinks about the threat
from the sea, largely because much of the protec-
tion is so well integrated into the landscape that
it’s nearly invisible.
On a bitingly cold February afternoon I
spend a couple of hours walking around Rot-
terdam with Arnoud Molenaar, the manager of
the city’s Climate Proof program, which aims
to make Rotterdam resistant to the sea levels
expected by 2025. About 20 minutes into our
walk we climb a sloping street next to a museum
Ryan moRRiS, ngm Staff. SouRceS: felix landeReR, naSa/Jpl; m. peRRette et al, 2013;
oRganiSation foR economic co-opeRation and development
$3 trillion or more
Up to $2 trillion
14 million or more
Up to 10 million
Ho Chi Minh City 5
Shanghai 5New York 3
Guangzhou 2, 4
Top ﬁve cities most at risk from rising seas (by 2070)
as the sea
ice sheets, it
rises most in
near a melting ice
sheet, sea level falls—
as the ice’s shrinking
gravity no longer pulls
the sea toward it as
much, and as the land
ﬂooding in river-
delta cities such
dhaka, and ho
chi minh city.
if sea level rises an average of
around three feet by 2100,
winds, currents, and melting ice
sheets will distribute the rise
unevenly. certain coastal cities
will be especially vulnerable.
During Sandy, seawater
gushed into the Ground Zero
construction site. New federal
maps include the site in a
100-year ﬂood zone.
Wind-driven surge Normal high tide
What would happen to New York if the storm surge hurled at it
by a storm like Sandy were riding on a sea that had risen ﬁve
feet higher? That’s the high end of the range in 2100 that the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers now recommends planning for. Sandy’s
surge ﬂooded subway tunnels, knocked out the power grid in
lower Manhattan for days, and damaged 218,000 cars in the
region as a whole. If the city doesn’t protect itself, a future ﬂood
will surge farther and deeper into its cavernous streets.
A Superstorm in 2100
1 As the storm heads
for the coast, high
winds on its right
side drive water
ahead of it.
2 Near shore the shallow seaﬂoor
causes the water to pile up on
top of the normal tide. Each
cubic yard of water weighs
some 1,700 pounds.
3 Waves riding the surge hit the
land like battering rams; debris
travels far inland. Even a small
sea-level rise adds a lot to their
destructive force and reach.
The power of a storm surge
DISTRICT 0 mi 5
0 km 5
New York City
A vulnerable city
extent (blue area)
Superstorm Sandy’s track
New York Bight
The shape of the surround-
ing coastline makes New
York particularly vulnerable
to storm surges: The New
York Bight, an indentation
in the shoreline, funnels
them directly at the city.
This Con Edison power station was ﬂooded
in October 2012 by Sandy, leaving much of
Manhattan below 30th Street in darkness.
RYAN MoRRIS, MATTHEW TWoMBlY, ANd MAggIE SMITH, NgM STAff
ART: IxTRACT gMBH, BERlIN. SoURCES: NoAA; U.S. ARMY CoRpS of
ENgINEERS; NEW YoRk CITY dEpARTMENT of CITY plANNINg; NEW
YoRk CITY offICE of EMERgENCY MANAgEMENT; USgS; NATIoNAl
HURRICANE CENTER; NATIoNAl WEATHER SERvICE; STEvENS INSTI-
TUTE of TECHNologY (dIgITAl ElEvATIoN ModEl); RENAISSANCE
CoMpUTINg INSTITUTE, UNIvERSITY of NoRTH CARolINA AT CHApEl
HIll; fEMA (2012 SToRM-SURgE ExTENT)
Methodology: This estimated footprint of a Sandy-like storm surge in
2100 assumes high tide and a sea-level rise of ﬁve feet. It was produced
using a National Weather Service storm-surge model called SloSH and
a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers procedure for translating the model’s
coarse output into a detailed inundation map. It doesn’t consider future
changes in coastal terrain that would affect a storm surge, such as
erosion of beaches or sandbars.
MANHATTAN ModEl pRovIdEd BY pICToMETRY (2009, 2012)
on our digital editions, zoom in on three
vulnerable parts of the city and see how
higher seas would affect a storm surge.
Cost of St. Petersburg food barrier
Two curved steel gates, each more than 350 feet long, can
swing shut to protect St. Petersburg, Russia, from Baltic Sea
storms, which have fooded it repeatedly over the past three
centuries. Completed in 2011, the gates are part of a 16-mile-
long food barrier that also carries a new highway.
54 national geographic • September 2013
important not just for Rotterdam but for many
cities around the world,” says Bart Roefen, the
architect who designed the pavilion. Te homes
of 2040 will not necessarily be domes; Roefen
chose that shape for its structural integrity and
its futuristic appeal. “To build on water is not
new, but to develop foating communities on a
large scale and in a harbor with tides—that is
new,” says Molenaar. “Instead of fghting against
water, we want to live with it.”
While visiting the Netherlands, I heard one
joke repeatedly: “God may have built the world,
but the Dutch built Holland.” Te country has
been reclaiming land from the sea for nearly a
thousand years—much of Zeeland was built that
way. Sea-level rise does not yet panic the Dutch.
“We cannot retreat! Where could we go?
Germany?” Jan Mulder has to shout over the
wind—we’re walking along a beach called Kijk-
duin as volleys of sleet exfoliate our faces. Mulder
is a coastal morphologist with Deltares, a private
coastal management frm. Tis morning he and
Douwe Sikkema, a project manager with the
province of South Holland, have brought me to
see the latest in adaptive beach protection. It’s
called the zandmotor—the sand engine.
Te seafoor ofshore, they explain, is thick
with hundreds of feet of sand deposited by riv-
ers and retreating glaciers. North Sea waves and
currents once distributed that sand along the
coast. But as sea level has risen since the Ice Age,
the waves no longer reach deep enough to stir up
sand, and the currents have less sand to spread
around. Instead the sea erodes the coast here.
Te typical solution would be to dredge sand
ofshore and dump it directly on the eroding
beaches—and then repeat the process year afer
year as the sand washes away. Mulder and his
colleagues recommended that the provincial
government try a diferent strategy: a single gar-
gantuan dredging operation to create the sandy
peninsula we’re walking on—a hook-shaped
stretch of beach the size of 250 football felds.
If the scheme works, over the next 20 years the
wind, waves, and tides will spread its sand 15
miles up and down the coast. Te combination
of wind, waves, tides, and sand is the zandmotor.
designed by the architect Rem Koolhaas. Te
presence of a hill in this fat city should have
alerted me, but I’m surprised when Molenaar
tells me that we’re walking up the side of a dike.
He gestures to some nearby pedestrians. “Most
of the people around us don’t realize this is a
dike either,” he says. Te Westzeedijk shields the
inner city from the Meuse River a few blocks
to the south, but the broad, busy boulevard on
top of it looks like any other Dutch thorough-
fare, with focks of cyclists wheeling along in
As we walk, Molenaar points out assorted
subtle food-control structures: an underground
parking garage designed to hold 10,000 cubic
With seas four feet
higher than today,
tWo-thirds of south-
eastern florida is
inundated. the keys
have almost vanished.
miami is an island.
meters—more than 2.5 million gallons—of
rainwater; a street fanked by two levels of side-
walks, with the lower one designed to store
water, leaving the upper walkway dry. Late in
the afernoon we arrive at Rotterdam’s Floating
Pavilion, a group of three connected, transparent
domes on a platform in a harbor of the Meuse.
Te domes, about three stories tall, are made of
a plastic that’s a hundred times as light as glass.
Inside we have sweeping views of Rotterdam’s
skyline; hail clatters overhead as low clouds scud
in from the North Sea. Tough the domes are
used for meetings and exhibitions, their main
purpose is to demonstrate the wide potential
of foating urban architecture. By 2040 the city
anticipates that as many as 1,200 homes will foat
in the harbor. “We think these structures will be
Te project started only two years ago, but it
seems to be working. Mulder shows me small
dunes that have started to grow on a beach where
there was once open water. “It’s very fexible,” he
says. “If we see that sea-level rise increases, we can
increase the amount of sand.” Sikkema adds, “And
it’s much easier to adjust the amount of sand than
to rebuild an entire system of dikes.”
Later Mulder tells me about a memorial in-
scription afxed to the Eastern Scheldt barrier in
Zeeland: “It says, ‘Hier gaan over het tij, de maan,
de wind, en wij—Here the tide is ruled by the
moon, the wind, and us.’” It refects the conf-
dence of a generation that took for granted, as
we no longer can, a reasonably stable world. “We
have to understand that we are not ruling the
world,” says Mulder. “We need to adapt.”
With the threats of climate change and
sea-level rise looming over us all, cities around
the world, from New York to Ho Chi Minh
City, have turned to the Netherlands for guid-
ance. One Dutch frm, Arcadis, has prepared
a conceptual design for a storm-surge barrier
in the Verrazano Narrows to protect New York
City. Te same company helped design a $1.1
billion, two-mile-long barrier that protected
New Orleans from a 13.6-foot storm surge last
summer, when Hurricane Isaac hit. Te Lower
Ninth Ward, which sufered so greatly during
Hurricane Katrina, was unscathed.
“Isaac was a tremendous victory for New Or-
leans,” Piet Dircke, an Arcadis executive, tells
me one night over dinner in Rotterdam. “All the
barriers were closed; all the levees held; all the
pumps worked. You didn’t hear about it? No,
because nothing happened.”
New Orleans may be safe for a few decades,
but the long-term prospects for it and other
low-lying cities look dire. Among the most
vulnerable is Miami. “I cannot envision south-
eastern Florida having many people at the end
of this century,” says Hal Wanless, chairman
of the department of geological sciences at the
University of Miami. We’re sitting in his base-
ment ofce, looking at maps of Florida on his
computer. At each click of the mouse, the years
pass, the ocean rises, and the peninsula shrinks.
Freshwater wetlands and mangrove swamps
collapse—a death spiral that has already started
on the southern tip of the peninsula. With seas
four feet higher than they are today—a distinct
possibility by 2100—about two-thirds of south-
eastern Florida is inundated. Te Florida Keys
have almost vanished. Miami is an island.
When I ask Wanless if barriers might save Mi-
ami, at least in the short term, he leaves his ofce
for a moment. When he returns, he’s holding
a foot-long cylindrical limestone core. It looks
like a tube of gray, petrifed Swiss cheese. “Try to
plug this up,” he says. Miami and most of Florida
sit atop a foundation of highly porous limestone.
Te limestone consists of the remains of count-
less marine creatures deposited more than 65
million years ago, when a warm, shallow sea
covered what is now Florida—a past that may
resemble the future here.
A barrier would be pointless, Wanless says,
because water would just fow through the lime-
stone beneath it. “No doubt there will be some
dramatic engineering feats attempted,” he says.
“But the limestone is so porous that even mas-
sive pumping systems won’t be able to keep the
Sea-level rise has already begun to threaten
Florida’s freshwater supply. About a quarter of
the state’s 19 million residents depend on wells
sunk into the enormous Biscayne aquifer. Salt
water is now seeping into it from dozens of
canals that were built to drain the Everglades.
For decades the state has tried to control the
saltwater infux by building dams and pumping
stations on the drainage canals. Tese “salinity-
control structures” maintain a wall of fresh water
behind them to block the underground intru-
sion of salt water. To ofset the greater density
of salt water, the freshwater level in the control
structures is generally kept about two feet higher
than the encroaching sea.
But the control structures also serve a second
function: During the state’s frequent rainstorms
their gates must open to discharge the flood
of fresh water to the sea.“We have about 30
salinity-control structures in South Florida,”