100-year-old photos reveal Antarctica before the climate change

Jul 18, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Jul 18, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Old photos are a strong witness of history and of past times. National Geographic has recently published a century old photos of Antarctica, made before we were in the midst of strong climate changes. Photographer Herbert Ponting took the photos of the coldest continent in the early 20th century, a hundred years ago. They don’t only show the landscapes of Antarctica, but also the animals, explorers of the Terra Nova expedition, and their ships. All these photos testify of the era that’s now so far behind us. And not only are they valuable – they are also beautiful.

Herbert Ponting captured parts of the Terra Nova expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. Sadly, the entire crew died on the way back from Antarctica. However, Ponting stayed behind. He also managed to return in the 1920s to take more photos of the continent.

A member of the Terra Nova Expedition
The Petty Officer of the Terra Nova expedition
The Terra Nova ship
The sailing Terra Nova ship framed by an ice grotto

While the expedition lasted, the camp had a tiny photographic darkroom. Even though the photographic film had already been invented, Ponting preferred glass-plates. He was one of the first photographers who used a portable movie camera (cinematograph) in Antarctica. He also brought some autochrome plates and took some of the first known color photos in this continent.

Killer whales
Penguins
A penguin protects its two chicks

Seals on the floating ice
A large iceberg

After the tragic death of Terra Nova expedition crew, Ponting’s work remained as a record of the expedition. But what’s also important, it stayed a valuable resource for learning about the Antarctica, its past, and its environment. Some of his photos were published in National Geographic in 1924, and today they “show an Antarctica not seen by many—and one we may never see again.” Climate changes are taking the toll, and we may never see the Antarctica the way Ponting saw it 100 years ago.

Herbert Ponting with a camera

According to Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), climate change in the Antarctic is neglected or reported misleadingly. The British Antarctic Survey has found that Antarctica is both warming around the edges and cooling at the center at the same time. Because of this, it’s difficult to say whether the continent is warming or cooling overall, but nevertheless – it does change. Which gives Ponting’s photos the additional value, not only as historical records but as a tool to track and understand the changes of the continent.

[via National Geographic]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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9 responses to “100-year-old photos reveal Antarctica before the climate change”

  1. Martin Gillette Avatar
    Martin Gillette

    This is a pack of nonsense. I can find lots of photos of ice all over the place now. And the ice braking ship going into the Arctic had to turn around due to too much ice; much more than was expected.

    1. Alexandre Bettencourt Avatar
      Alexandre Bettencourt

      It’s alarming to me that there are still climate-deniers despite overwhelming evidence and even almost all the countries coming together to try to implement changes to prevent this from getting worse. Studies from reputable scientific entities have been made that prove this is happening as speak. In my lifetime alone the global population grew by a BILLION people, all of them consuming natural resources, destroying wildlife and their habitats
      while releasing CO2 into the atmosphere which comes back to hurts us. Does anyone think this is sustainable as things have been going for the past decades? Where does ANYONE get off saying “oh, this isn’t real”. I hope these people don’t have kids, because if words equal actions, then those people would be acting in a very selfish way.

    2. Martin Gillette Avatar
      Martin Gillette

      Alexandre Bettencourt it is alarming to me that people keep claiming that the science is settled. We just had a report where the temperatures were manipulated to take out normal cycles, thereby causing the data to show warming. Every model so far has never predicted what actually ends up being the case. Gees, at some point you need to consider that the models might be wrong. To think that we can take measurements all around the globe, come up with some crazy model that predicts what the temperature will be 50 years from now is arrogance in the extreme. The same type of predictions were being given in the 1970s, 1980s, the 1990s and now. In fact there isn’t suppose to be any ice at the poles according to the models of the early 2000s and no polar bears either. And please tells us what the ideal temperature of the Earth is.

    3. Martin Gillette Avatar
      Martin Gillette

      Jon Hurd this was suppose to already be the case according to the models of the early 2000s. Just ask Al Gore. Large ice breaks off of Antarctica every year and there was a time when there was no ice there. But that was before man was even on Earth so I guess that doesn’t count.

    4. Martin Gillette Avatar
      Martin Gillette

      Alexandre Bettencourt oh, CO2 levels rise after the Earth warms and can therefore not be the cause of warming. There are perfectly good scientific reasons for that. The green house gas that is by far the most responsible for climate change is water vapor. But you can’t control water vapor or create water vapor credits. This is a huge hoax to make some people very rich off of the backs of people like you and me.

  2. Jay Avatar
    Jay

    Stunning images I don’t think we need to interject unknown science into this story… warming at the edges cooling at the center… what is it? As you can see in these picture the earth and Mother Nature don’t care about what Al Gore thinks.

  3. J.h. Thurnher Avatar
    J.h. Thurnher

    Global earth politics aside…. beautiful imagery. Does anyone know whom possesses or owns these ?

    1. Martin Gillette Avatar
      Martin Gillette

      I can agree with this……Looks like National Geographic owns them.

  4. Alexander L. Harris Avatar
    Alexander L. Harris

    Back in those days, Penguins were black and grey. :