From Canada’s Torngat Mountains, to Ilulissat in Greenland, Antarctica, Mount Stanley in Uganda, and Cotopaxi in Ecuador, photographer Paul Zizka has had the chance to take pictures of some of the most unique places on Earth. He launched his latest project, The Cryophilia Project, in December, 2022. Over the next few years he’ll focus his attention on collecting images from glacial environments both in his home country of Canada and abroad.
Paul says, “I believe photography has the power to stir up emotion, generate awareness and incite change when other means of communication fail. Eventually, my hope is to convey my findings in a cohesive way through the creation of a book and the presentation of an exhibit.”
Tomorrow’s Air first began collaborating with Paul in 2021, using inspiring images and stories to support our climate conscious travel and carbon removal awareness- building efforts.
In Mongolia for example, Paul’s photographs show the the night sky from one of the world’s most unusual ice fields: Yolyn Am, Mongolia. He captured the stillness and majesty of the night sky from this deep gorge located in the Gurvan Saikhan mountain range, within the arid Gobi Desert. Here there is little rain, yet during the winter months, an ice field is created in the canyon that can reach several meters in thickness. In Mongolia, where the rate of warming is higher than the global average, this ice field, formerly famous for not melting even in scorching summer temperatures, has lately become seasonal, usually melting by early September.
Carbon dioxide traps heat in our atmosphere and contributes to warming that’s causing ice fields like Yolyn Am and many others around the world, to melt. Scientists have developed scenarios for limiting warming to well below 2°C. They involve removing hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the course of the century. As the recently released State of Carbon Dioxide Removal report observes,
“Meeting the temperature goals require deep and widespread reductions in emissions. While such efforts to reduce emissions prevent further carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from going into the atmosphere, Carbon Dioxide Removal involves taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere that is already there. Carbon dioxide removal can fulfill three major functions, alongside emissions reductions:
1. First, carbon dioxide removal can reduce net emissions in the near term.
2. Second, carbon dioxide removal can counterbalance residual emissions to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term.
3. Third, if removals exceed emissions, carbon dioxide removal can achieve net-negative emissions in the longer term."
Whether it’s wading waist-deep into a glacier-fed lake or chasing auroras from dusk til dawn, Paul is known for his adventurous spirit and love of the natural world that draws him to the extraordinary, creating images that offer an entry point for learning about the role of carbon removal in restoring our climate.
Follow the series on our Instagram to learn more about each of the places Paul visits.
Travelers can help clean up carbon dioxide and store it permanently and gain access to travel benefits when they invest in clean air with Tomorrow’s Air.