Capturing Climate Change

byClaire O’Neill

When it comes to climate change, there are more questions than there are answers. How do you explain the big-picture risks of subtle changes like rising sea levels, fluctuating crop yields, and shifts in ocean currents — and more importantly, how do you make people care? One solution: use photographs. But photographer Joshua Wolfe is convinced that, for the purpose of illustrating climate change, polar bears and penguins just won’t cut it.

Wolfe and NASA climatologist Dr. Gavin Schmidt recently published a collection of scientific essays and photographs in a book called Climate Change: Picturing the Science. The aim is to shed light on a complex problem, and to make it both accessible and important to the public. It’s a compilation of scientific (but readable) essays, mostly by scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute. And it’s illustrated by not only photographs, but also diagrams and satellite images.

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