Environment

Artists Cover Glaciers With Blankets To Slow Down Climate Change

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blanket covering glacier

Image: Fast Co Exist

Artists Cover Glaciers With Blankets To Slow Down Climate Change

Hearing about the effects that severe climate change is having on the world is one thing, but actually being able to see the world changing because of rising temperatures is becoming a reality all around the world. One of the places being greatly affected by this fluctuation in climate is a glacier that sits atop Kebnekaise Mountain in Sweden. The highest mountain peak in Sweden has seen drastic change over the last twenty years, with no halt in sight. While the glacier is a whopping forty meters thick, its size and shape has been monitored and tracked for years, and it has been shrinking by an average of a meter every single year.

The glacier is akin to a National Landmark in Sweden and with the growing issue of its demise garnering traction in the media, two dedicated Swedish artists set out to do something to save it from disappearing for good. Mats Bigert and Lars Bergstrom weathered the storm in every sense of the word and climbed the beloved mountain so they could install a self-designed reflective blanket onto the glacier. This reflective blanket was made specifically to deflect the suns harsh rays that were the cause for the shrinking glacier in the first place, but also to keep the internal temperature under the blanket low, so that the remaining ice would not melt.

mountain tops of singitjakka and duolbagorni, kebnekaise-fell, lapland, sweden

Image: Shutterstock/Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

The idea for this blanket came about after similar projects throughout Sweden were successful in helping to maintain the amount of ice or snow on various mountains. Many of these projects were conducted on heavily populated mountains, mostly ski resorts, in order to keep them stockpiled enough for good skiing. Many of these similar projects were so successful that in their first year in existence, the peaks actually grew on average of two feet.

A replica of the glacier fitted with a reflective blanket is on display in Sweden as part of these artists’ ploy to encourage more people to truly understand how climate change is affecting the world. This display lets onlookers see the inside of a glacier and better understand its make up, and just how fast these rising temperatures are destroying something that has taken the earth so long to build.

So, will this project work? That remains to be seen, but it does present the true dangers of climate change and global warming. These blankets are nothing but a temporary fix for an ongoing problem. The Kebnekaise mountain is just one of millions all across the world that are in danger of melting away entirely. Projects like these are wonderful, but they are simply a blip on the radar. The real issue that needs to be tackled is the one of global warming in its entirety. Fashioning blankets or other devices is costly and simply cannot salvage all of the landmarks across the globe that are in jeopardy.