THE HUGE extent of ice loss from Iceland's glaciers has been documented in a photography project.

A team of photographers from Scotland and Iceland have compared photographs taken in the 1980s with 2019 images and the results are shocking.

Incredible drone snaps reveal shocking shrinkage of Iceland glacier since 1980s_1
These images show melting at the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier

Aerial photos taken by plane in the 1980s have been converted into hi-res 3D models using modern software and then compared with drone photos.

Dr Kieran Baxter from the University of Dundee said: "The scale of the ice loss was immediately evident as we reached altitude but it was only by comparing the images side-by-side that the last 100 years of change were made visible.

"It was both a breathtaking and heartbreaking experience, particularly knowing that the melt has accelerated massively in the last few decades."

The photos were taken exactly 100 years apart and are being used to highlight the impact of climate change.


Baxter added: "Unless we drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, there will be little ice left to photograph in another hundred years."


They photographers focused on the south side of the Vatnajökull National Park ice cap, an area in Iceland that covers about 7,700sq km of land.

Glaciers photographed include the Heinabergsjökull glacier and the rapidly retreating Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.

The team hopes that the photos will be used for public outreach projects that show how rapidly Iceland's glaciers are melting.


Dr Tomas Johannesson, Coordinator of Glaciological Research at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said: "Our collaboration with Kieran Baxter and the University of Dundee is important for our public outreach and has proved effective to explain the changes that have occurred in recent decades.

"It is also important for our collaboration with the Vatnajökull National Park and other organisations and agencies for the creation of educational material and exhibits about glaciers and glacier changes."


Climate change explained

Here are the basic facts...

Scientists have lots of evidence to show that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity
Climate change will result in problems like global warming, greater risk of flooding, droughts and regular heatwaves
Each of the last three decades have been hotter than the previous one and 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have happened during the 21st century
The Earth only needs to increase by a few degrees for it to spell disaster
The oceans are already warming, polar ice and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and we’re seeing more extreme weather events
In 2015, almost all of the world's nations signed a deal called the Paris Agreement which set out ways in which they could tackle climate change and try to keep temperatures below 2C


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What do you think about the rapid ice melting? Let us know in the comments…


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