What if ice that has been frozen for hundreds of thousands of years could be used to predict the future of our climate? For a better understanding of climate, this project employs ice cores—tubular samples of ice—from Antarctica and Greenland as a tool for plainly observing climate change.
By exploring how tangible objects, such as ice cores, serve to improve our understanding of unobservable concepts such as global warming, these objects not only become tools for scientific research, they become tools of wonder and enlightenment.
Since 1930, scientists have been drilling up ice cores looking for clues about the climate. As new snowfall accumulates every year, pressure caused by the weight of the snow creates layers of ice. Over time, tiny air bubbles form and become trapped within. When the ice cores are removed, the air bubbles within the various layers contain the same composition as when they froze—including greenhouse gasses.
Studying this air, scientists observe the history of climate change from ice ages to interglacial periods as far back as 800,000 years, contemplating not only the climate’s past, but setting out to predict its uncertain future.
With the same curiosity as a scientist Suzette Bousema visualizes contemporary environmental topics. Planetary conditions and our place in them are the starting point in her work; the way humans interfere with nature and how we relate to the Earth on an individual level. By visualizing the beauty of scientific research she aims to contribute to already ongoing environmental debates in a positive way.
Currently one of her main sources of inspiration is philosopher Timothy Morton, who writes about the Hyperobject; such a big and abstract object, that we cannot see or touch it, but only experience it through its effects. Through art (mainly photography) she tries to gain a better understanding of environmental hyper-objects, like climate change and global pollution.