10 October 2008.- During the 1950s, Austrian and Swiss scientists conducted intensive studies of the Everest region in Nepal taking photographs of the glaciers, mountains and valleys. Around the same time, the Swiss glaciologist Fritz Mller spent eight months in the region at locations above 5000 metres, studying and photographing the Himalayan glaciers.
Now, fifty years later, the black and white photographs taken by these scientists are of immense value in trying to understand the impacts of climate change on the world's highest mountain range, the Himalayas. Mountain geographer Alton Byers has revisited many of the sites of the original photographs and taken replicates, illustrating the changes in the landscape. The old and new photographs have now been united in a unique photo exhibition: 'Himalaya Changing Landscapes', currently on show at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. The exhibition is part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations for ICIMOD and has been organised in partnership with the BBVA Foundation.
"Only five decades have passed between the old and the new photographs and the changes are dramatic. Many small glaciers at low altitudes have disappeared entirely and many larger ones have lost around half of their volume. Some have formed huge glacial lakes at the foot of the glacier, threatening downstream communities in case of an outburst", says Byers.
The Himalaya Changing Landscapes photo exhibition aims to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and of the new challenges facing the mountain people. The stunning repeat panorama views of mountains and glaciers are accompanied by images of the Himalayan people and their stories, as well as photographs of the scientists conducting glacier research in the 1950s. The four-metre long photo panels making up the exhibition are located outside the Barcelona International Convention Centre, and entrance is free for conference participants and the general
|Contact: Javier Fernndez|