Visualising Climate Change in Arctic Glacial Landscapes

Kieran Baxter

Research output: Other contribution


‘Visualising Climate Change in Arctic Glacial Landscapes’ investigates the use of digital visualisation modelled in 3D using Photogrammetry software to revisit historical aerial photographs, telling the story of the planet’s rapid loss of glaciers. The comparison between the 1980s mapping of a group of outlet glaciers on the south side of Vatnajokull, one of the largest ice caps in Europe, and those produced through Baxter’s research, illustrates how Arctic glacial landscapes have been radically affected by recent human-made climate change.

Its originality lies in the methodological approach, which uses aerial Photogrammetric techniques and digital media, integrated with more traditional and commonly used methods of repeat photography, to create new perspectives on landscapes that reveal the change. The research demonstrates that powerful visualisation tools can be applied to achieve greater impact when communicating specialist climate change knowledge to general audiences.

The project received a total of £8.5K support (direct to researcher) from the Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources through their Projects Grants scheme, in 2018 and 2019, and has received in-kind support from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the University of Iceland. The resulting visual work has featured in numerous online articles translated across more than 20 languages, and broadcast on the national public-service television channel Icelandic RÚV. Significantly, it has also been used to illustrate scientific articles, including in New Scientist, as well as reports aimed at both the public and policymakers, such as delegates of the COP25 meeting of the UNFCCC. In illustrating his presentation at COP25, Dr Tómas Jóhannesson of the Icelandic Meteorological Office, and member of the Icelandic government scientific community on climate change, referred to the research images and stated that we can ‘... use glaciers as ambassadors to show the public and politicians the scale of the changes that are taking place.’
Original languageEnglish
TypeMulti Component Output
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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