The view from the top of the Nun Kun plateau in Ladakh is as dazzling, serene, and desolate as any desert expanse in the world. A sea of blue-white snow curls around India’s highest peak of the Himalayas; passing clouds cast deep purple shadows on the stage below. The oxygen here is less than half that of sea level. Drop a person in this amphitheater and human beings suddenly seem very insignificant indeed. The photographs of Paul Andrew Mayewski and Michael Cope Morrison capture the feeling but belie the truth. As leading climate researchers, Mayewski and Morrison have spent their lives in some of most remote places on Earth, chipping away at the “gradualist” viewpoint -- that we are merely observers of an inevitable shift. Their exhibit "Journey Into Climate" is a gorgeous introduction to their book of the same name. A Scott tent, polar boots, and a sextant sit amidst sweeping images, a reminder that these scientists are also adventurers who recognize their role in “The Golden Age of Climate Research.” While their tools are flimsy defense against the elements, the fact remains that the elements are at our mercy. Surprisingly, Mayewski and Morrison offer some hopeful conclusions, as well as dire warnings.
July 24-25; Sat., July 28, 2012