I am a storyteller,” John Weller, 46, says modestly of his award-winning work. “I try to use storytelling to illuminate important issues.” One area in particular has dominated Weller’s life for close to two decades: Antarctica’s Ross Sea, Earth’s last intact ocean habitat. Working with organizations in more than two dozen countries, his photographs of the Ross Sea and his international initiative The Last Ocean became the face of Antarctic conservation, reaching hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide and helping drive the adoption of the world’s largest marine protected area, covering 600,000 square miles. “I wish I could give you the experience of being in that room when this happened,” Weller told an audience in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, earlier this year. “Nations were literally hugging other nations. In a world that is more and more divided, this is what we need. Though this was a massive win for Antarctica—a massive win for our oceans—it really was a peace treaty.”
Q: Why is this an important habitat to conserve?
A: Antarctica is hurtling toward a cliff, as are all its creatures. In mere decades, climate change has transformed the environment. More than 90 percent of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula are in rapid retreat. A dozen have collapsed completely—and this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Antarctica as a whole is melting at an accelerating rate, changing the physical nature of the continent and driving sea-level rise. If these trends continue, most coastal cities will be underwater in a few centuries.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A smorgasbord of wrecks and reefs ensures you’ l l never run out of photo ops in these warm waters
Sea Hero: JOHN WELLER
How one photographer’s mission to save the Ross Sea is bringing the planet together
16 TH ANNUAL PHOTO COMPETITION: OUR SPONSORS
What’s a contest without prizes? These generous donors—whose ranks include avid shooters like you—help make photographers’ dreams come true.
Readers Choice: Best Destinations For Photography
Species diversity, ideal in-water conditions and weird wonders earn these destinations top honors
Ask Dan – Decompression sickness
How can I reduce my risk of decompression sickness?
Underwater, it’s vital to remember what’s really important
In It To Win It
Competition can help you improve your shots
A Studio In Your Hand
Video can bring non-divers into the underwater action
Breathing air from a tank isn’t the only way to explore beneath the waves.
Underwater photography – Do No Harm
Tips for being an ethical underwater photographer
A circumnavigator's favorite ocean films
A still from the documentary Maiden, which tells the story of the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989-90.
A Global Meltdown
RETURN TO 60° SOUTH
OCEAN RACER NICK MOLONEY RETURNED TO THE DEEP SOUTH WITH A MEMORABLE VOYAGE TO ANTARCTICA
One Good Bottle
Tamara Irish is a natural winemaker. Way natural.
In Search of Terra Incognita
The risk one runs in exploring these unknown and Icy Seas is so very great, that I can be bold to say, that no man will ever venture farther than I have done and that the lands which may lie to the South will never be explored. ~ British Captain James Cook
ARCTIC TRUCKS. MARS ROVER
AirBnb To Train Volunteers For Science Research Sabbatical
Airbnb is offering a handful of people concerned about the environment a chance to participate in scientific research on how to help preserve it during an all-expense-paid trip to Antarctica.
Antarctica Is Losing Ice 6 Times Faster Today Than In 1980s
Antarctica is melting more than six times faster than it did in the 1980s, a new study shows.
Antarctica- The Ultimate Expedition
Journey to Antarctica for the thrill of a lifetime.
Antarctica And Us
To stay wild, Antarctica needs us to keep it that way. Documentarian Fraser Morton reminds us of our relationship with the Last Great Wilderness, as he documents his incredible ClimateForce expedition with a polar legend.