Climate-Themed Art Exhibition & Seminar by NUI Galway Physical Geographer

Matterhorn and Dent d'Herens, on the border of Italy and Switzerland. Artwork by Dr Gordon Bromley, NUI Galway
Oct 24 2018 Posted: 15:31 IST

NUI Galway’s Moore Institute and Galway University Foundation will host a climate-themed exhibition, Art on the Edge, in the Hardiman Research Building during the month of November. Featuring original artwork by NUI Galway physical geographer, Dr Gordon Bromley, the exhibition includes a mix of drawings and paintings captured from his international field research.

The exhibition will be launched at 5pm on Thursday, 1 November followed by a seminar at 6pm by Dr Bromley on The business end of climate research, showcasing ongoing climate research at NUI Galway. The event and exhibition is free and open to the public.

Art on the Edge displays science-inspired artwork from almost two decades of field research into earth’s climate system. Dr Gordon Bromley, an NUI Galway Foundation Research Leader, describes the exhibition as “bringing the public face-to-face with climate science – and climate scientists – through a lens of art.” It will feature Dr Bromley’s artwork from the high deserts of Peru to the edge of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, coupled with human artefacts (scientific and everyday items left on the ice such as drink cans, old radiosondes, and a geologic pick axe). It will also feature photographs and video footage from Dr Bromley’s field work in Antarctica, Greenland, Peru, Colombia, and Scotland, demonstrating how everyday people use our landscapes as laboratories and fostering the notion of climate science as a vital element of our community.

Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “This exhibition of stunning artwork will inspire much-needed discussion and reflection on climate change. The conjunction of art and science reminds us that only by convening a wider conversation that includes the humanities and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) can we make progress in public and academic understanding.”

Speaking about the seminar, Dr Gordon Bromley from the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, said: “The seminar will consider the consequences of climate in flux, including today’s rapid global warming. Earth’s climate is inherently changeable. Human-induced climate change represents one of the greatest uncertainties we face in the 21st Century and beyond. This topic is a highly visible source of public disquiet and political controversy, but the actual science feeding our climatologic knowledge remains mysterious to the vast majority. And it is this disconnect, between science and the public that funds it, that is the biggest challenge to our society’s effective preparation for future ‘climate shock’.

“The seminar will serve as an opportunity for us to explore exactly what climate is, how we think it behaves based on scientific research, and plausible scenarios for our future climate and sea level, highlighting the new and ongoing climate research being conducted at NUI Galway.”

As part of his international field research in these various locations, Dr Bromley primarily uses the geologic record of glaciation to establish two things: the timing and magnitude of past abrupt climate change events, and the impact of abrupt climate change on Earth’s ecosystems. He also continues to work towards understanding the cause of the ice ages and the sensitivity of our climate to carbon dioxide (for example, if CO2 concentrations double, what exactly will be the magnitude of atmospheric warming?).


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