‘On Thin Ice’ photo exhibition launches in O’Reilly Library

Róise McGagh

Left to right : Prof Alf Haakon Hoel, Norwegian ambassador Else Berit EIkeland & Gary Tyrell

The ‘On Thin Ice’ photo exhibition was launched on Wednesday 12th December, in the John and Aileen O’Reilly Library on DCU Glasnevin campus.

The exhibition showcases the work of the Polar Institute in Norway’s 111 day project where they lodged a boat into an ice flow during the winter of 2015 and used it as a station for experiments on what happens to the arctic in Winter.

The display has been on show in University College Dublin and Trinity, and will be on show in the Glasnevin library foyer for the month of December.

Gary Tyrell, the Climate Action Officer for An Taisce’s Climate Ambassador programme said that he offered the exhibition to universities as the visuals create great awareness about the issue and “For science and environmental students, to offer up an example of opportunities that are out there.”

“The main finding was that winter storms are breaking up the thin ice and that leads to more open waters in winter time” said Professor Alf Haakon Hoel from the Arctic University of Norway,” said Tyrell.

He said that the thinning of the ice and more extreme weather conditions, both caused by global warming, are leading to an acceleration of the melting of ice. The ice breaks up more in the winter and is thinner, therefore in the summer it melts quicker. He says the window has narrowed and that it is expected that the arctic will be free of ice in the summer between 2030 and 2050.

Brian McCraith speaking at the launch.

Else Berit EIkeland the Norwegian Ambassador in Ireland, Gary Tyrell, Brian MacCraith President of DCU, Professor Alf Haakon Hoel and Professor Pat Brereton spoke at the opening.

The exhibition is part of DCU’s strategy of embedding sustainability in all its activities along with the eliminating single use plastics on all campuses and the introduction of new MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media and Society. Brian MacCraith said “We aim to make one of our four campuses in this region the first carbon neutral campus”

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019 has shown that existing efforts in reducing carbon emissions “will not enable Ireland to achieve either its EU 2020 or 2030 targets,” making it the worst country in the European Union for action on climate change.

“I know the discussion in Ireland is that the government is not doing enough and we have to do more on an individual basis but in Norway we feel that legislation and the government’s policy is important.” said the Norwegian Ambassador.

Róise McGagh

Image Credit: Róise McGagh