Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya

Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya

West Rongbuk Glacier, 2008; courtesy of GlacierWorks

During the past century, many glaciers of the Greater Himalaya have been in retreat. Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya reveals the dramatic glacial melt through stunning photography taken by mountaineer, filmmaker and GlacierWorks founder David Breashears. The exhibition also includes artifacts and displays relating to mountaineering and to the inhabitants of the region.

Like his predecessors from earlier times, David Breashears has endured hardships, and pushed available technologies to record images of the region. Over the course of his thirty-two year mountain climbing career, Breashears has come to know the region as few others have. “I want to share my knowledge,” says Breashears, who views the Rivers of Ice exhibition as an opportunity to trigger public dialogue as scientists and policymakers work to better understand the glaciers’ potential impact on the fresh water supply in Asia, and on global environmental issues in general.

New tools and techniques are being developed to answer extremely complex and difficult questions about water supply, hydrology, and the scientific data gathering process, all of which contribute to better understanding exactly what is happening to the glaciers of the Greater Himalaya.

The exhibition at the MIT Museum, a related symposium being organized by the Cambridge Science Festival, and other talks and lectures throughout 2012, will provide insight to some of the most groundbreaking environmental research currently taking place, and offer the general public the opportunity to engage with scientists and researchers.

Funding for the exhibition was provided by: the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, GlacierWorks, The Asia Society, The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Shell, The Farvue Foundation, and the Council for the Arts at MIT.

Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya was developed in collaboration with The Asia Society.

MIT/MIT Museum benefits from the support of the the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. This document was produced with the financial assistance of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of MIT/MIT Museum and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Foundation.

MIT advisors to the exhibition: Patrick Heimbach, Henry D. Jacoby, Ronald G. Prinn, Susan Solomon, James Wescoat


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Rivers of Ice was shown April 13, 2012 - March 17, 2013.

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