Shackleton Climate Project

The Shackleton Climate Project is designed to inspire others to take their own “climate journey” and become more actively involved in the most pressing issue of our time – saving our planet, and especially our oceans, from climate change.

Shackleton Climate Project Logo, the James Caird silhouetted against a mountain outline

Tim’s trekking experience in South Georgia was eye-opening because the glaciers he had expected to find, as detailed by the diaries of Ernest Shackleton and his companions, simply weren’t there. Tim and the team instead were forced to wade across lakes of meltwater.

The impact of climate change is being felt at all corners of the planet, even in South Georgia miles from anywhere, despite the sources of pollution being quite concentrated around industrialised areas.

This realisation has helped Tim to become a leading authority on distilling big-picture ideas and making them visual, to communicate the importance of taking action on climate change, and help people to take action. Tim speaks about how big projects, inspired by Shackleton’s leadership qualities, can make seemingly impossible changes happen.

Climate change is not only the biggest threat facing humanity, but its greatest impacts are being felt in our oceans, which are sadly the world’s biggest carbon sink. Sea levels are rising, acidity has increased by almost 30%  since the mid 1750s and warming is causing ‘bleaching’ (mass coral deaths) in some of the world’s biggest reef systems. Reefs in turn support about 500 million people a day with food.

Tasman Glacier comparison 1999 to 2018. Recession approx 200m per year.

This experience has also inspired another of Tim’s projects – 25zero – which focusses on glacial melt as a measure of the increasing rate of change. In the image above, a 1999 paper map of Tasman Lake, New Zealand, is compared to the same map on a phone today. Note ‘the Cove’ at the top of the phone picture that marks the northern end of the lake today. In 1999, this lake was glacier, which means the glacier has melted by 200m a year on average (4kms in 20 years). But the rate is now accelerating. Each of the squares is 1km. Photo by Tim Jarvis.

You can find out more and get involved in 25zero by heading back to the main menu and finding the 25zero tile, or at the dedicated website here.