North Pole sign in melting ice and meltwater

North Pole sign in melting ice and meltwater

Sue Flood

The terrifying, transformative effects of climate change are captured perfectly in North Pole Underwater, an image taken by photographer Sue Flood. The signpost at the centre of the photo represents the geographic North Pole in the Arctic, the northernmost point on the planet at a latitude of 90 degrees north, but rising sea levels caused by warmer global temperatures have been pushing its location east since 2005.

Flood says she hopes the photo will raise awareness of the “alarming” rate that polar ice is melting and the “urgent action” that is needed.

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The shot won Flood the top prize in the climate change category of the 2020 Science Photographer of the Year competition, organised by the Royal Photographic Society.

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Dr David Maitland FRPS

Among the competition’s other selected images is David Maitland’s Turing Patterns. The photo shows the hypnotic spiralling of chemicals on a Petri dish, caused by a Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. These oscillating chemical reactions were first predicted by mathematician Alan Turing.

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Norm Barker used a microscope to reveal a cross section of a dinosaur fossil for an image he calls Dinosaur Bone. The vibrant colours result from the changing mineral content during the fossil’s formation.

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In My Way – Frank Sinatra, a composite shot from her photo series Bubble Beats, Kym Cox used sound to create patterns on a soap film stretched over a loudspeaker. This image was achieved with Sinatra’s signature song; varying sound frequencies alter the soap’s thickness, changing the colours that show up.

The competition’s winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited online by the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, UK, from 12 February to 2 May.  

The rest of the competition entries can be seen at rps.org/spoty.

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