Archive by category | Climate change

Last Diamonds: portraits of icebergs

Last Diamonds: portraits of icebergs

A frozen menagerie of yawning overhangs, rotting underbellies, humanistic curves, tumbled-over organ pipes confronts you.  Francesco Bosso’s Last Diamonds is a glorious, sombre collection of 25 monochrome ‘portraits’ of icebergs off the coast of Greenland, gingerly treading the boundary between art and science. Each plate, created using a traditional analog photographic process, offers haunting insight into the cryosphere, exploring a grey, often cloudy sky, a shimmering jet-black ocean, and an iceberg traversing the intersection.  Read more

Chasing Coral: beauty and destruction

Chasing Coral: beauty and destruction

First we take the plunge, off the boat and into the blue. Once the bubbles clear, wonders emerge. Guided by the camera, the eye is initially drawn to the obvious: turtles, rays, eels, jellies, fish. But the star of this show is a different kind of animal. The focus shifts, and we see a variety of fabulously intricate and colourful structures, some branched like trees, others spiny and globular. Each edifice in this marine metropolis was erected by corals — master builders now under unprecedented threat.  Read more

Humboldt biography wins Royal Society prize

Alexander von Humboldt (oil painting by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, 1806).

If fame were measured in namesakes, Alexander von Humboldt might reign supreme. The moniker of the brilliant biogeographer, naturalist and explorer graces dozens of species and phenomena, from the hog-nosed skunk Conepatus humboldtii to a sinkhole in Venezuela. Yet the Prussian polymath’s reputation has lagged somewhat behind that of, say, Charles Darwin. Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature went some way towards changing all that. Now this immensely acclaimed biography is burnished anew by winning the Royal Society’s Science Book Prize, sponsored by Inside Investment.  Read more

Five books for the COP negotiator

Five books for the COP negotiator

George Orwell, author of dystopian classics Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, was a political animal par excellence. He understood how the language of politics could give “an appearance of solidity to pure wind”, as he put it in his 1946 essay Politics and the English Language. Those words should blast right through the miasmas forming over Paris as COP21 enters its second week.  Read more