Glaciers Melt

Glaciers Melt

I took to Alaska a small journal, 5” x 4” with 24 pages. The cover was made from eco printed leather over stiff paper. The top and bottom of the wrinkled pages had been dipped in either indigo or rust, creating an irregular horizon line. During the trip I drew and painted the mountains with graphite, water color, white gouache and chalk.

The text throughout the book reads:

Glaciers Melt

Glaciers are giant rivers of ice formed over centuries as fallen snow is compressed into layers of ice. They flow out to sea as ice shelves where pieces break off, or calve, to form icebergs. Today, about 10% of land area on Earth is covered with glacial ice. 90% is in Antarctica and 10% is in the Greenland ice cap.

Glaciers now lose up to 390 billion tons of ice and snow per year. The largest regional losses are in Alaska, followed by the Southern Andes and the Arctic. Seventy five billion tons of ice from Alaskan glaciers are being lost each year and 95% of the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic is already gone. If emissions continue to rise unchecked, the Arctic could be ice free in the summer by 2040 and melting on Greenland would double by the end of the century. By that time, ICCP projects that sea level will rise between 4 and 35”.

At the high end, it would be an unmitigated disaster. As glaciers melt and oceans warm, ocean currents will continue to disrupt weather patterns. Where and when fish spawn will continue to change and some fishing industries will fail. Wildlife, especially those living on ice, like walrus and polar bears, are also impacted as they lose their land. As storms become more intense, coastal flooding will become more frequent and communities will continue to be displaced and face billion-dollar disaster recovery bills.

Addressing the causes of warming ocean and air temperatures are our only hope for slowing or reversing the glacial melt.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Dorothy Simpson Krause, 2019