Photographer Michael Najjar has envisaged how the Earth might appear as the impact of global climate change transforms the planet (Picture: Michael Najjar/www.michaelnajjar.com)
They are visions of a planetary collapse that the Earth is fast approaching.
A German photographer has provided a window into a future of extremes, one where technology provides a final redoubt for humanity’s survival of the global climate disaster.
Michael Najjar fused real images and art for his acclaimed ‘cool earth’ project, part of his thought-provoking look at what lies ahead for a planet under threat.
He envisages ice-free Arctic seas and rising oceans but also visualises how humans may use technology such as artificial rainfall and floating wind turbines to sustain life.
The post-destruction imagery is influenced by Najjar’s present day travels to extreme locations and the images he has captured along the way. The future Virgin Galactic astronaut’s visualisations include ‘eruption II’, where a raging volcano spews lava into the air.
Another, ‘posthuman waves’, shows a humanoid figure standing in front of jagged rocks after humankind has been wiped out by the climate apocalypse.
The energy and transformative power of volcanoes is shown in ‘eruption II’, which is based on pictures taken by Michael Najjar at the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland (Picture: Michael Najjar/www.michaelnajjar.com)
The ongoing project imagines a future where the tipping points in the biophysical margins supporting the Earth have been passed, leading to irreversible change.
Najjar, who is based in Berlin, believes that one reason why the planet continues heading into the abyss could be that the climate crisis appears as a ‘hyperobject’ — too complex for human understanding.
The images realise the different impacts in scenes that link back to our present existence and some of the emerging technology that may sustain life.
‘My new “cool earth” deals with our planetary future in times of climate change, and the role of new climate technologies,’ Najjar told Metro.co.uk.
Humankind has vanished from the Earth in ‘posthuman waves’, where a mysterious humanoid figure stands in the shallows (Picture: Michael Najjar/www.michaelnajjar.com)
‘It explores the far-reaching ecological, economic and cultural impacts of human-induced climate change which are leading to a redefinition of the relationship between humans and nature.
‘The work spans the arc from an impending dystopian future – which has already arrived in our present – to a technology-based decarbonised post-fossil world.’
Millions of people are already being impacted by changes in rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, warming oceans and more frequent extreme weather, according to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The prototype technology of artificial photosynthesis, which could be used to offset CO2 emissions, is scaled up in ‘silk leaf’ (Picture: Michael Najjar/www.michaelnajjar.com)
Global warming is likely to reach 1.5C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 if it continues at the current rate, increasing the likelihood of heat extremes, rainfall and drought, according to the IPCC.
Najjar’s ‘arctic elegy’ touches this future while evoking …read more