The breathtaking, alien landscapes of the Arctic have always captivated the human imagination—it was long a world beyond the borders of the known world, full of portent and mystery. Now the ultima Thule of medieval geographies becomes more charted each year, and lone expeditions of pole-hungry explorers have been replaced by tourists, researchers, and fuel industry prospectors.
Swedish photojournalist named Christian Åslund works with Greenpeace. He collected some early photos of glaciers ice in Svalbard, Norway, photos were at the Norwegian Polar Institute, and they are compared with his photos from the same locations from the 2002 year. You can’t even imagine how big the differences between these glaciers are, in the before and after photos. He uses these photos to promote #MyClimateAction, a National Geographic campaign that mentions the problem of global warming and melting ice.
Take a look at these photos, compare the difference between these sites now and then, so you will see how dangerous global warming really is.
Though photography has taken him around the world, 42-year-old Christian Åslund has spent most of his life in the Arctic, documenting these very changes. The Swedish photojournalist, who has collaborated with Greenpeace for nearly twenty years, reached out from Stockholm to talk with National Geographic about photography, seismic blasting, and the importance of making things known.
Speakinf of the most remarkable assignment he has done for Greenpeace, the photographer said: “It’s got to be the glacier comparison that we did [at Svalbard] because it’s interesting on so many levels—our access to the archives there from the early 1900s, and then being able to trace where the photographers were, because we didn’t know exactly where they shot from. We had to track down where the photos were taken, and then go on location and then sort of follow their footsteps.”
“It’s been quite a few years. I shot this in 2003. Knowledge of climate change wasn’t as common, our attitudes towards climate change were different. Now more or less everyone knows it’s a fact. It’d be interesting to go back and shoot from the exact same locations again.”