Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Climate change in pictures

(I think this is the start of something potentially significant. We've all seen the before/after pictures of melting glaciers around the world, but there are other, even more subtle examples of how the climate has changed over the last generation. I run into many Minnesotans who tell me how the weather patterns have changed on their farm, how new plants and flowers are sprouting in their yards, things that never used to grow here in the past. People, armed with nothing more than cameras, documenting the changes, the slow motion transformation, taking place in their yards over time).

Gavin Schmidt, a NASA climatologist, has in many ways become the news media’s conscience on climate science, exposing exaggeration and opinion in climate coverage on the blog he founded, In a recently published book, “Climate Change: Picturing the Science,” Mr. Schmidt and his co-author, the photographer Joshua Wolfe, attempt to tell the story of global warming with the same no-nonsense approach — albeit this time with photographs. “There is this tendency in the media to go for the dramatic shots with a very limited palate,” Mr. Schmidt said in a recent conversation with Green Inc. “So any time someone talks about storms, there’s a picture of a wave breaking against a beach, or a picture of a palm tree bending over in the middle of a hurricane, and if you’re talking about the Arctic, then you have to drag out a polar bear.

The article in the New York Times is here.

A web site highlighting the book "Climate Change. Picturing the Science" can be found here.

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