Ice cores, Greenland & Antarctica Approx. 20,000 years old

Climate Archive

13 Aug 2020 Brooklyn
Photo by Suzette Bousema

LOCATION: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Fulton Ferry Landing | Get Directions



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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 are not only tools for scientific research, they are 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. When the ice cores are removed, the air bubbles in 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.

Featuring: Suzette Bousema


With the same curiosity as a scientist, Suzette Bousema visualizes contemporary environmental topics. Planetary conditions and our place among 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 seeks to contribute to ongoing environmental debates in a positive way.

These days, one of her main sources of inspiration is the philosopher Timothy Morton, who writes about the hyperobject: such a big and abstract object that we cannot see or touch it, we can only experience it through its effects on us.

Through art–mainly photography, Bousema tries to gain a better understanding of environmental hyperobjects, like climate change or global pollution.