National Geographic and Rolex Committed to a Perpetual Planet

Mountains. Rainforests. The ocean. These critical Earth systems provide some of the most basic needs for life on Earth: water, oxygen, a stable climate. But these systems are increasingly at risk due to global environmental challenges like climate change.

That’s why National Geographic and Rolex have partnered to support trailblazing scientific research, expeditions, and solutions to increase our understanding of the threats facing the planet’s life support systems and drive action to address them.

Together, the partnership supports a series of expeditions to examine the impact of climate and environmental change on the planet’s most fragile iconic environments, to document the changes occurring and the implications for people and wildlife.

Protecting Earth's Rainforests

Our rainforests are more vulnerable than ever. As one of the most essential ecosystems on our planet, rainforests are the lungs that breathe life into our world. Not only do rainforests foster a wide range of biological diversity and a major aggregation of freshwater rivers — they are also a vital influence on continental climate cycles, acting as natural climate solutions. Threatened by large-scale land-use activities and climate changes, we’re seeing Earth’s lungs collapse before our eyes.

Protecting and restoring Earth’s rainforests is crucial to our planet’s survival. That’s why National Geographic Society, with the support of Rolex, convened leading scientists and conservationists to create a unique tropical rainforest vulnerability index (TFVI), which detects and evaluates the vulnerability of global tropical rainforests. TFVI, which was introduced by the scientific journal One Earth, uses satellite data to examine tropical regions systematically. The science indicates that each rainforest reacts differently to different stressors and therefore, each region and subregion requires a diversity of solutions.

Tupungato Volcano Expedition

The 2021 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Tupungato Volcano Expedition, in collaboration with the Government of Chile, explored a critical water tower in the Southern Andes by placing the highest weather station in the Southern and Western Hemispheres. The expedition built on successes from the 2019 Mount Everest Expedition.

Since 2010, Santiago and central Chile have faced below average precipitation and the longest drought in modern meteorological record (since 1915). This expedition explored the most vulnerable water tower in the Southern Andes where the capital city of Santiago, Chile (population of more than 6 million) relies on this water tower for its water supply.

Everest Expedition
The 2019 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition was the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to this iconic mountain in history. The team installed the two highest weather stations in the world and collected the highest ice core ever recorded. The expedition team conducted trailblazing research on the glaciers and alpine environment of the Hindu Kush–Himalaya. The region's glaciers provide critical water resources to more than one billion people. Below, explore weather information from Mt. Everest, including hourly data in a low-bandwidth page.
Climbers: Get Near Real-Time Conditions on Everest
To enable climbers on the mountain to easily access data from the Everest Weather Station Network, we've created this low-bandwidth, near real-time site to display the latest weather data easily on a smartphone, even from Base Camp or above.
Follow Everest Weather Updates
Get the latest weather data directly from stations located across the mountain. From hourly temperature readings over the last five days, see how dramatically the weather can fluctuate.
Importance of Mountain Water Towers
Mountain glaciers act as ‘water towers’ and are increasingly at risk due to climate change and other factors. Scientists from around the world have collaborated on a new Water Tower Index showing that global glacier-based mountain water systems around the world are vulnerable, in many cases critically. By identifying the most relied upon, and most vulnerable, of these water towers, this research aims to help prioritize the protection of these critical systems. Our expeditions to Tupungato Volcano and Mt. Everest have investigated climate changes in highly vulnerable water tower regions.
Explore the World’s Most Important Water Towers
Learn more about these global water towers — and about the water flowing in and out of these critical systems and the threats they face.

National Geographic Society + Rolex

Our innovative partnership supports exploration of some of the most extreme environments on the planet to gain insights into the systems that support life on Earth.

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