That the Arctic is breaking is nothing new, the figures certify it. In September 2012, the historical ice minimum in the polar iceberg was exceeded. The icy surface was reduced by 18% with respect to the previous minimum, a loss that is almost double the surface of Spain. In the last twenty-five years three quarters of the sea ice layer of the Arctic Ocean has been lost. The average thickness of that sea ice today is 50% less than a few decades ago. Given this situation, in thirty years the Arctic Ocean could be left without ice during the summer.
The exhibition CajaCanarias Foundation and Obra Social “la Caixa” The Arctic is broken aims to show the uniqueness of the ecosystems of the North Pole, detailing the important role they play in the global climate, as well as their physical characteristics and biodiversity . And all this, through a hundred stunning photographs of one of the most prestigious nature photographers, Andoni Canela. The snapshots of this vast, inhospitable and impressive territory, made expressly for the exhibition, will allow visitors to explore the 200 square meters occupied by the exhibition.
To learn more about these valuable ecosystems and assess their importance, the exhibition is divided into four areas: the Arctic climate, life in an extreme situation, the human footprint and the northern lights.
The show can be seen in an exclusive and innovative space that recreates the frigid Arctic environment. In its interior it will be possible to discover, for example, why the animals’ legs are not frozen, or if the polar bear is actually white, besides listening to an Inuit-yupik story, Sami music and a host of other things that will bring it closer to visitors to the Arctic. The exhibition organized by the CajaCanarias Foundation and the Obra Social “la Caixa”, in collaboration with the Town Hall of Arona, can be visited at the Plaza del Pescador (Los Cristianos) in Arona, until May 15, 2018.
The mayor of Arona, José Julián Mena; the director of Cultural and Educational Action of the CajaCanarias Foundation, Álvaro Marcos Arvelo; the director of the Business Area of CaixaBank in Tenerife Sur-La Gomera, Pilar Ramos and the curator of the exhibition, Toni Pou, today presented the traveling exhibition The Arctic is broken, a unique exhibition whose purpose is to publicize the important role of the ecosystems of the North Pole and raise awareness of the importance of the conservation of the polar region.
The high temperatures of recent summers have accelerated the surface thaw of the Arctic. The fractures of icebergs do not do more than show the symptoms of the process of transformation of one of the most sensitive areas of the Earth. These changes, which are triggering an acceleration of climate change, will affect the climate of the entire planet.
The exhibition aims to encourage critical thinking and raise awareness about an important environmental problem: the effects of climate change in the Arctic and its consequences for the rest of the planet.
An important part of the exhibition is formed by the photographs of Andoni Canela, who has traveled through Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Svalbard, Iceland, Russia and Lapland and brings us closer to the recent reality of the Arctic region.
The Arctic is broken also has audiovisuals that explain what is an aurora borealis or the various kinds of ice, and interactive where, among others, it shows how the polar ice caps are undone and it is possible to observe the hair of a polar bear, lichens and carnivorous plants.
In addition, a set of pieces from Nunavut (Canada) and northern Alaska bring us closer to the life and culture of its inhabitants. Visitors can listen to an Inuit-yupik story and Sami music, feeling immersed in the extraordinary Arctic region.
An exclusive and innovative space created especially for the exhibition simulates a walk among icebergs. The pieces and images that make up the exhibition are arranged on irregular, geometric walls that resemble the walls of ice and play with their numerous gradations of white and blue.
The arctic climate
The glaciers and Arctic ecosystems enclose the history of the climate of our planet. They are also valuable indicators of the climatic changes that are occurring today. Therefore, its value is incalculable for science, and scientists work in different research programs focused on the Arctic.
Throughout the course of this area, the differences between the types of ice found in the Arctic region are shown: icebergs, glaciers, sea ice … The role played by regulators in the Earth’s climate is explained, confirming its importance . You can also enjoy the beauty of the shapes of the crystals with which ice is formed. And a spherical multimedia discovers the duration of the Arctic night and many other singularities.
Life in an extreme situation
Despite the harsh climate, the Arctic ecosystem welcomes a wide variety of living beings. These species have developed significant strategies that allow them to isolate themselves or withstand the cold, walk on snow and camouflage themselves in the environment.
With the decrease of Arctic ice, animals such as polar bears could be in danger, some migratory birds will lose their clutches due to the lack of stable ground, and some of the most resistant vegetables on the planet, such as mosses and lichens. that populate the tundra, may be replaced by more southern species.
In the Arctic, animals and plants have become masters of survival. In this area it is possible to know different adaptation strategies in plants and animals. Among them, the case of the arctic tern, which is capable of going around the world and returning every summer to the same place, or plants that eat insects, among other peculiarities.
The human footprint
More than twenty ethnic groups live around the Arctic Ocean. Now they try to adapt to the changes that the global change is producing in their environment, struggling not to lose their traditions.
To get closer to the inhabitants of the Arctic and know their way of life, the clothing and utensils of the Inuit, models of the houses where they live, etc. are displayed, all in order to get closer to their culture.
Under the ice there are great treasures, such as natural gas, oil, coal, iron, nickel and gold. The economic pressure is very strong and many are waiting for the opportunities that the disappearance of ice will suppose. What will happen to this valuable ecosystem?
The northern lights
The northern lights are a wonderful celestial spectacle. They occur when particles originated in the Sun (solar wind) reach the Earth’s atmosphere. Understanding how these phenomena originate and enjoying the contemplation of the northern lights listening to Inuit legends will serve to put an end to the show.