Same arctic landscape, a century apart. Notice something different?

From seeing changes in seasonal patterns to experiencing natural disasters, we have seen many signs of climate change around us. However, visual documentation often helps us understand these changes better. A comparison of two pictures of the Arctic region is being shared widely on Twitter. These photos taken over a span of 100 years show a blurred image of climate change. IFS officer Parveen Kaswan shared the comparison on Twitter. He captioned it, “This arctic is 105 years apart. Both photos were taken in the summer. Did you notice anything special? Courtesy Christian slund.” In the first one, we can barely see the mountain range behind the glacial wall. And, the next picture tells a completely different story.

This comparative study, shared by Mr. Kaswan, was part of a 2003 series by photographer Christian Islund and Greenpeace, titled “Glacier Comparison – Svalbard”. According to a report by Snopes, the series included seven such visual comparisons of contemporary photographs and archival photographs from the Norwegian Polar Institute.

“I shot it in 2003. The knowledge of climate change was not that general, our approach to climate change was different,” Mr. Oslund said in a 2017 interview talking about the new image.

Netizens were amazed by the sheer contrast of the two pictures. One user wrote, ‘The picture comes on your face.

Another said that the vanished ice was also a habitat for many animal species. This would have also caused the extinction of these species.

This person noted the effects of global warming in these photos and described how things had changed in Kakking, Manipur. The disappearance of sparrows and fireflies as well as the increase in concrete structures worried them.

One user insisted that climate change and global warming are real problems and not just myths.

Some are afraid of a comparative study of photographs taken today and some decades later. One user wrote, ‘I don’t want the day to come when a similar photo comparison will be done between 2001 and 2031 Gangotri Glacier.

Another was black’s prediction: “In another decade, we may see cement everywhere.”

What do you have to say about the pictures taken by Christian Islund?

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