Dr. Christian Klepp is a geoscientist and climate researcher from Hamburg. He is also an award-winning landscape photographer, best-selling author and passionate lecturer on how our planet works and how to mitigate the human-induced climate change.
Christian Klepp studied meteorology and geology at University of Hamburg and received his doctorate in geosciences. He worked at University of Hamburg, including as a docent, and at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. In 25 years of work in international climate research and Earth system research, he was intensively involved with questions of how the Earth functions as a system of its individual components and how it perpetually changes during the eons since its formation. He has also been photographing the Earth’s pristine landscapes for 30 years.
This knowledge, coupled with his deep love for the planet and his thirst for adventure, led to the final fusion of his profession with landscape photography in 2019. Since then, Christian has been dedicated to reintroducing people to the beauty and uniqueness of Earth, to bring the idea of sustainability to people’s hearts, and to draw attention to our responsibility in caring for the planet. His award-winning photographs can be seen in international exhibitions, are part of his talks on the Earth system, climate and climate change, and are featured in his best-selling book Wunderwerk Earth-How Our Planet Works.
“Nature is home to me. The wilder and more pristine it is, the more comfortable I feel. This love and unbridled curiosity for our planet has driven me ever since. I have studied the Earth and literally exposed myself to nature with my body and soul. As a geoscientist I was privileged to spend two winter months at the North Pole at -42°C. This time had an enormous impact on me and changed my view of the world once and forever. I was nearly struck by lightning, was allowed to witness a total solar eclipse and heard the bang of an exploding meteorite. I have encountered polar bears, mountain lions, and grizzly bears on my hikes, faced them eye to eye, and felt the mutual respect down to my core. I have become one with nature and listened to the stories of the rocks. They are the memory of the Earth and preservers of the perpetual change of our planet.”
“I am fascinated and enchanted with the view of the Milky Way star arc above a landscape at night ever again. With my mobile astronomical star tracking system, I compensate Earth’s rotation, which allows me to photograph pinpoint stars with exposure times of several minutes. This technique enables me to record even faint stars invisible to the naked eye, resulting in breathtaking star images of the highest quality.”
“The eventful journey of our planet, its formation and development, and the finely tuned interconnection of its constituent parts culminates for us in the snapshot of Earth we know today. However, from Earth’s perspective this snapshot is shorter than a blink of an eye. Earth does not need us humans at all, instead we are highly dependent on an intact Earth. What we therefore need to save and protect are the ecosystems with their plethora of species, for they are our own fragile basis of life. The necessary change of perspective is to understand that we do not exist detached from Earth. We are the Earth! We live on an oasis in space, which is why the well-being of our Earth should be our highest priority. Doing something for the benefit of the planet should fill us with happiness and pride. Therefore, I would like to encourage, seed energy and create a new understanding of values for our planet. Only when we understand how our planet works, how finely orchestrated its components interact and depend on each other, we will feel empathy for our planet. For me, this is the key to success for a sustainable approach with the planet.”