How one artist captured the changing climate in watercolor

Artist and scientist Jill Pelto’s riveting paintings use data to show climate change’s impacts.

  • This piece, called "Habitat Degradation: Arctic Melt," shows sea-ice data from 1980 to present. As temperatures rise, larger species could outcompete the Arctic fox.

    Jill Pelto
  • "Climate Change Data." The numbers on the y-axis show glacial melt and sea level rise, and the suns across the horizon contain the global increase in temperature. Along the x-axis is time.

    Jill Pelto
  • "Habitat Degradation: Deforestation" shows a tiger, trapped outside of the forest. The painting uses data on the decline in rainforest area from 1970 to 2010.

    Jill Pelto
  • "Increasing Forest Fire Activity." It shows global temperature rise, which increases the risk of wildfire.

    Jill Pelto
  • "Decrease in Glacier Mass Balance" uses measurements from 1980 through 2014 of the average mass balance for a group of glaciers in the North Cascades, Washington. Mass balance is the total snow accumulation minus total snow evaporation and melting.

    Jill Pelto
  • "Landscape of Change" uses data on sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels.

    Jill Pelto
  • "Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification" contains illustrated ocean pH data from 1998 to 2012. As atmospheric carbon dissolves into the ocean, it creates carbonic acid, leading to more acidity and a lower pH.

    Jill Pelto
  • The "Salmon Population Decline" painting uses population data on Coho salmon. Maintaining their population is becoming more difficult as stream flow drops and temperatures rise.

    Jill Pelto

 

Jill Pelto, a Maine-based artist and scientist, says she sees nature as a work of art, even as it changes. Her latest project makes use of the staggering numbers on melting glaciers, rising sea level, threatened species. “I wanted to convey in an image how all of this data must be compared and linked together to figure out the fluctuations in Earth’s natural history,” Pelto, wrote on her . “I hope to cover both positive and negative issues that depict the reality of our current ecosystem.” The result of the project is something you don’t typically see on an artist’s tapestry: an x-and-y axis. In one of her watercolor paintings, numbers on the left y-axis depict quantities of glacial melt and sea level rise, and a setting sun dipping across the horizon contains numbers that represent the global increase in temperature. The timeline on the bottom serves as a reminder of the data's message: urgent action is needed to avert what seems inevitable. Paige Blankenbuehler, assistant editor

profvest.com

www.maxformer.com

techno-centre.niko.ua