Sea Level Rise: Visualizing Climate Change

Carrie and Eric Tomberlin

2016 - Ongoing

Sea Level Rise: Visualizing Climate Change

A collaborative project by Carrie and Eric Tomberlin

Bangladesh is considered by the international scientific community to be amongst the world’s most vulnerable populations to the effects of climate change. Topography, poverty, and population density are contributing factors, but location is the real issue. Like southern Louisiana and New Orleans, Bangladesh sits upon one of the world’s largest river deltas; it is flat as a pancake and right at sea level. It is very susceptible to cyclones, averaging one major storm every three or four years. However, Bangladesh has the added challenge of being sandwiched between the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean which bring both seasonal snow melt as well as the annual monsoons, both of which are exacerbated by global warming.

Though Bangladesh faces seemingly insurmountable challenges, they are not merely coping, but adapting with resilience and ingenuity utilizing community - based adaptations. In doing so, they provide an example of taking action on a local, national, and international level to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Much of what Bangladesh is learning can be applied to other highly populated areas at or near sea level such as Miami, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Amsterdam.

Having photographed environmental issues for many years, we find the images of climate change to be limited due to the gradual and elusive nature of the problem. For several years we have been working on a new kind of photography we call time distillation. This new paradigm allows us to collect a range of time and collapse it into panoramic space which we later distill into a singular allegorical narrative that has the potential to express a more complex story than a singular photographic image. This process parallels environmental issues in that it is the accumulation of time that reveals the gravity of the situation more clearly than any individual moment.

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  • Jamuna River

  • Flooded Brick Factory, Ashulia

  • Collapsed Apartment Building, Chuknagar

  • Building Up The Embankment Along the Kholpetua River, Kapilmuni

  • Low Tide Along Harihar River, Chuknagar

  • Locally-Produced Concrete Blocks to Reinforce Embankments, Sariakandi

  • Embankment Construction along the Brahmaputra River, Shampur

  • Flood-Resistant Housing, Koyra

  • Road Closed by Rising Waters, Ashulia

  • Processing Saline Resistant Rice, Dhankundi

  • Guard House and Living Quarters at Fish Farm, Tala

  • Cyclone Early Warning System, Barisal

  • Fishing Below a Dam Used to Regulate Aquaculture Farms, Paikgachha

  • Tilapia Farm Aquaculture, Jessore

  • Pumping Dredged Silt, Bangali River, Sirajganj

  • Land Accretion, Turag River, Ashulia

  • Monsoon Season Encampment of Mobile Village, Sirajganj

  • Cyclone Shelter Under Construction, Koyra

  • Caretaker, White Tiger Shrimp Farm, Agorghata