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17 May 2019


CLI_M_CO2 team wins distinction award in SNSF Scientific Image Competition

The CLI_M_CO2 picture "Sea Change" has been awarded a Distinction by an international jury for the category "1. Object of study".

An official award ceremony was held on Wednesday 15 May 2019 during the Biel Festival of Photography, where the winning works were exhibited. The winning pictures and all other entries will also be shown in several exhibitions, including the Zurich Film Festival.

The jury selected 4 winning entries and awarded 11 distinctions out of a total of 457 contributions from 240 scientists from a variety of research institutions across Switzerland

Photo description by CLI_M_CO2 project leader Prof. Elisa Fornalé:
“My project studies the impact of climate change on human mobility in the small island states of the Pacific. Given their low elevation, many South Pacific States are portrayed as ‘sinking islands’. This region is already facing severe collective problems as a result of slow-onset environmental changes, such as rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and increasingly intense hurricanes. This picture was taken during field work in Kiribati, a group of 33 low-lying atoll islands, where rising sea level is causing erosion or loss of land and salinisation of water. The population is increasingly concerned by the possibility that they might lose their homes and be forced to move internally or to another country. The picture shows the building of walls as a possible strategy to mitigate the gradual increase of sea level.”

Jury comment:
“The picture conveys the feeling of imminent danger: rising sea levels, made visible here through a protective wall. It presents a tangible example of contrasts: the hard-to-perceive phenomenon of global warming on the one hand, and its impact on the daily life of inhabitants on the other, here represented by mundane clothes lines. The island is still there, but for how long?”

Many of the contributions, including CLI_M_CO2’s “Sea Change”, are online in Flickr galleries, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (hashtag #SwissScienceImage).

You can find all 15 winning entries on the of the Swiss National Science Foundation website.