Sunday, September 26, 2010

Milk Lake Glacier - 30th Abstract Glacier Painting by Tatiana Iliina

Artist Documents the Disappearance of Disappearance 

Canadian artist Tatiana Iliina has created a growing collection of paintings that celebrate the fleeting beauty of an ecosystem in rapid transition.

From the Himalayas to the Rockies, from the Alps to the Andes, most glaciers around the world are receding every year.

If the glaciers themselves have become transitory objects, the period of receding for a glacier is as ephemeral as it gets.  In the tens of thousands of years of history any one glaciers may only recede across a certain stretch of ground only once. As the glacier retreats, a piece of the Earth that was permanently frozen in time sees the light for the first time in eons.

When the snow melts the following year, the land has only been covered for a few months. The situation is very limited in scope. There are only so many glaciers and each season of melt can only be seen once. Although there are still glaciers on the planet that should last for hundreds, if not thousands of years, the total number and volume of the glaciers is declining quickly. The receding ancient glacier will ultimately become a rare and incredible event.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Canadian Arctic and Rocky Mountain glaciers showing net mass balance decline

A study, released today by Statistics Canada, covering three prominent Arctic and Rocky Mountain glaciers, shows that the glaciers in both regions are shrinking - although those in Rockies are shrinking faster. (via BigCityLib). My question, looking at these charts, is what percentage of the glacier's mass do these numbers represent.

Cumulative Net mass balance, Western Cordillera glaciers
(click the graph to get a better look)

Cumulative Net mass balance, High Arctic glaciers

According to the study, the glacier ice mass balance is "thought to provide one of the clearest signals found in nature to monitor ongoing trends in climate."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pasterze Glacier, Austria's mightiest, has lost half its volume since 1851

The Pasterze Glacier is Austria's longest, currently approx. 8.4 km. in length. It is about 1800 hectares in area and is located in the Eastern Alps, directly behind Austria's largest mountain, the Grossglockner. It is shrinking by approx. 10 m per year and has lost about half its volume since measurements were first taken in 1851.

The photo at left from 1910 shows the Pasterze in its prime, an imposing feature in the valley where it ended at the time. Now, the terminus of the Pasterze has retreated each year since the heavy snowfall of 1965-66.

Tatiana Iliina has created an abstract painting recognizing this mightiest of the Austrian glaciers.

Not surprisingly, the painting is entitled "Pasterze Glacier". As is her customary practice, Tatiana has used a palette knife technique to execute this painting. This is the 33rd painting in Tatiana's "Receding Glaciers" collection.

With this painting, Tatiana is taking the genre to the next level. While in the past, each painting has been sold, the plan now is to build up a collection of these paintings to be available for exhibition both online, in galleries or possibly other venues.

For the time being this painting is still available for sale. However, once the exhibition is established, the availability of these paintings will be reduced and the price will be increased.

(Nov. 15/10) this painting has now been sold)