Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Timelines Of Glacial Retreat

Artist Fabian Oefner has created two outstandingly beautiful images from the heartbreaking effects that global heating is having on the world's glaciers. Using historical data of glacial retreat Oefner has released two interactive photographs which visualize how Switzerland's Rhône and Trift Glaciers have shrunk in size over the last 140 years.

Timelines by Fabian Oefner consists of two interactive nighttime photographs - one of the Rhône Glacier and one of the Trift Glacier. Superimposed over the image of each glacier are lines which show the glacier's maximum extent for each year. Both of the photographs are interactive. If you move your mouse over either photo the lines are added or removed from the image by year. The effect is an astonishing beautiful visualization of how each glacier has shrunk over the years.

To create these interactive images of glacial retreat historical data was used to plot the maximum expansion of each glacier during each year between 1874 and 2017. Drones were then flown along the line of maximum expansion for each year. These drones flew at night - lit up by LED lights. The artist Oefner then photographed the LED line of maximum expansion created by the drone for each year from a vantage point high on a mountain top above the glacier.

The result is two extraordinarily beautiful images of the dreadful results of global heating.

There are also a number of other astonishing visualizations of glacial retreat around the world:

In 2017 the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger visualized the extent of Switzerland's shrinking glaciers over the last 160 years. In So Schmolzen die Schweizer Gletscher in 160 Jahren Weg the paper produced a series of multiple maps visualizing the change in size of the country's 38 largest glaciers.

Tages Anzeiger reports that the Rhône Glacier has shrunk by 4.7 km² or about 23.4% in size over the last 160 years. Over the same period of time the Trift glacier has shrunk by -4.6 km² or around -23.8% in size.

CBC News' How a melting glacier could redefine the Alberta–B.C. border uses a 3d map of the Haig glacier to show how the glacier is retreating and causing a shift in the border between B.C. and Alberta.

Disappearing Glaciers is an Esri StoryMap designed to highlight the alarming speed at which glaciers are disappearing around the world. This map looks at recent aerial imagery of six different glaciers

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