From the I N T R O D U C T I O N
This book is a message from many of the places where the effects of rapid climate change are being seen and where scientists are studying what is happening. It is also a report on what these changes mean and what we can do about them.
As a witness to climate change, I have stood in the empty rookeries of displaced Adélie penguins and felt the chill as huge icebergs separated from an ice shelf in Antarctica. I have seen the jagged fronts of receding Greenland glaciers and observed subtle changes on the tundra. I have tracked down Alpine glaciers depicted in 150-year-old images and rephotographed them to show them wasting away. In the woods of eastern North America I have walked among spring wildflowers and watched for migrant songbirds, which are arriving earlier each season than in decades past. Along the coasts I have seen rising tides and heavy storms erode beaches. I have heard the anguish in the voices of native Alaskans as they describe their village being washed away, of Chinese farmers facing famine caused by drought, and of Pacific Islanders driven from their homes by increasingly high tides. Global warming is affecting the whole world, from the tiniest ocean plankton to humans in their cities and the flora and fauna of entire river basins and mountain ranges.
These observations are part of a photographic project called "World View of Global Warming," for which I traveled to 22 nations and seven continents. This book presents this visual evidence and combines it with the latest scientific and social reports of changes taking place now. It details what is beginning to be done around the world to control rapid climate change and issues a call to action to citizens, leaders, and governments.
-- Gary Braasch
GARY BRAASCH is a nature and environmental photojournalist who was awarded the Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography by the Sierra Club in 2006. He was Outstanding Nature Photographer in 2003 of the North American Nature Photography Association and is a "Legend Behind the Lens," an honor by the Nikon Corporation recognizing 80 photographers worldwide. In 2005 he helped establish the International League of Conservation Photographers. An exhibit of giant prints and educational images, "Climate Change in Our World," premiered at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington DC, in November 2009.
Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World, a 300-page documentation of ongoing climate change and efforts to reduce it, began as "World View of Global Warming," a self-assigned project. Beginning in 1999 Braasch crossed both the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, and photographed from beneath sea level to above 15,000 feet, including an assignment to the face of a receding ice shelf in Antarctica. To date, he has photographed global warming effects and science in 23 nations from Greenland to Australia and from China to Peru. The resulting photos and reports have been widely published including exhibition at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC and the Field Museum in Chicago. Photographs from this and other projects made up the entire 2007 calendar published by the United Nations Rio Conventions (climate change, biodiversity and anti-desertification), which was presented at the UN Climate Talks in Nairobi. The United Nations used Braasch's images exclusively for a set of six stamps about climate change in 2008. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communications, a UN-affiliated body dedicated to preservation of wild places, cultures and creatures.
Hundreds of Braasch's photographs have been published in magazines world wide, including National Geographic, Time, Life, NY Times, GEO, Terre Sauvage, BBC Wildlife, Airone, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Business Week, and Nature. In recent years he completed more than 40 environmental assignments for major magazine clients and other media, making him one of the most-published editorial nature photographers. His books include Secrets of the Old Growth Forest, (with David Kelly), the first book about the temperate old growth forests of the Northwest, and Photographing the Patterns of Nature, revised edition published in 1999. For 13 years he has been on the faculty of the Maine Photographic Workshops, and he leads workshops for photographic centers in Santa Fe, Palm Beach, and in the Northwest.
He is a committed environmentalist and contributor to conservation groups worldwide. Braasch has been a professional photographer and writer since 1975, and holds a Masters Degree in journalism from Northwestern University. His home is in Portland Oregon.
Professional website: www.braaschphotography.com
Gary Braasch Earth Under Fire Post Office Box 1465 Portland Oregon 97207 USA
Email Phone 503.699.6666 Cell 503.860.1228