Two Pictures 104 Years Apart Show Disturbing Glacial Melt in Norway

Brent Thomas | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute took the first picture. Credit: Neil Drake

Global warming is taking its toll on the world’s glaciers. This could not be more drastically represented than by this side-by-side picture comparison. The original picture was taken in 1918. It shows such massive glaciers that you could barely see the impressive mountains behind them. In the second picture, it is the mountains that look massive.

These photos show the Blomstrand Glacier in Svalbard, Norway. Photographer Neill Drake worked hard to replicate the same time and place to show the dramatic difference. He has been on numerous expeditions to promote the conservation of the Arctic ice and its wildlife.

The glacier can only be accessed by boat in the summer when the sea ice melts. Credit Wikipedia

The ice in the north and south poles is important to global climate. The snow and ice reflect light and heat into space. This counteracts other parts of the world that absorb more heat and keep temperatures in balance. The ice is literally the cold pack that keeps the earth’s temperature in check. However, if the ice melts, less light is reflected, and more is contained in the planet’s weather system.

The Arctic Sea ice reaches its minimum yearly level every September. Since satellite record began in 1978, the yearly minimum Arctic Sea ice has declined by about 40%. Additionally, the average sea level has risen 7.5 inches since the original photo was taken. The World Wildlife Fund predicted that the Arctic could be ice-free by the summer of 2040 if emissions continue to rise.

The ice melting could mean more extreme weather events due to climate change, as well as food shortages. It goes without saying what the consequences could be for the ski industry.

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