All images by Tom Hegen. Used with Creative Commons permission.
The Arctic region is one of the most extreme places on Earth, but also among the most vulnerable. We’ve long been hearing about why it’s imperative to keep the polar region protected: to avoid the catastrophic consequences and to. Munich-based Tom Hegen shows us what we could possibly lose to climate change in a beautiful, abstract-styled landscape photography series titled The Two Degree Celsius Series.
Previously, we put the spotlight on The Quarry Series, another fascinating project by Hegen that revealed to us the surprising abstract beauty of open pit mining quarries when viewed from above. The Two Degree Celsius Series likewise takes us up in the air to look at the Arctic Ice Sheet from a different perspective, and give us an idea about what we could be faced with if we don’t remain vigilant about climate change.
In his series’ statement, Hegen tells us that he hovered 900 meters above the ground in a small airplane to take these photos, and shares the rationale of the project and how it relates to one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st century.
“The Arctic is the fastest warming place of this planet, providing the first indication of how climate change is having an impact. Meltwater flows over the ice, enters into it and then flowing downstream into the ocean. It’s melting surface is one of the most obvious examples of global climate change. Below two degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels is the agreed goal, signed by 197 countries at the Paris climate agreement in 2015 to limit global warming to avoid disastrous consequences of climate change.”
The Two Degree Celsius Series is, in essence, a cautionary tale not only on the catastrophe that hangs above our heads, but also the sheer natural beauty that we could lose if we don’t start doing something now. Not all of us may get the chance to see for ourselves the hypnotic abstract patterns and cool, calming hues that Hegen captured, but it’s definitely comforting to know that such stunning landscapes are still part of the planet we call home.