Field Museum, Chicago “Climate Change” Review – Powerful and Important

A small group comprised of members of “Go Green Wilmette” and an international club took a field trip to the Field Museum, Chicago. I joined them and was really pleased to see the Climate Change exhibition since it closes November 28, 2010. The size, scope and depth of information presented in the exhibition were very impressive.

Announcing the "Climate Change" exhibition

Whether young or old, new to this topic or well informed, this was a chance to really understand so much of the information available from other sources.

As snow and ice disappear from polar regions, more heat is being absorbed by open water, rather than reflecting radiation back into the atmosphere. Photo-Karen de Seve

Entering the first room, I was impressed by the sign that listed the contributors to this exhibition, an unexpected group, as follows:
Climate Change is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with The Field Museum, Chicago; the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, United Arab Emirates; The Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Instituto Sangari, São Paulo, Brazil; Junta de Castilla y León, Spain; Korea Green Foundation, Seoul; Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen; Papalote Museo del Niño, Mexico City; and Saint Louis Science Center.

Visitors to the Climate Change exhibition are met with a collage portraying technological advances since the Industrial Revolution. An illuminated LED line runs through this timeline, portraying the corresponding rise in CO2 in our atmosphere. Photos-D. Finnin

There were wall sized photo collages and a time line measure showing how technological advances in fifty years segments, beginning in 1750, have lead to different life styles and the release of ever increasing amounts of carbon dioxide. Rooms following, show how problems related to climate change have been tackled in various parts of the world. One sees how individual, collective, communal, and governmental actions can make a meaningful impact in reducing global climate change.

Rising water levels are projected onto a model of Lower Manhattan, portraying possible scenarios of a sea level rise of 10 and 16 feet due to melting ice caps. Photo-D. Finnin

“We are proud to present an exhibition that illustrates the causes and effects of climate change while also providing ideas for practical, long-range solutions,” said John McCarter, President of The Field Museum. “Climate change is one of the most critical issues of our time.”

Illinois is home to nearly a dozen wind farms. In all, they generate enough power to run almost 300,000 homes. Photos-Dori

Through interactive stations and videos, as well as dioramas conveying the latest research, Climate Change presents evidence that human activity over the past 300 years has dramatically altered the natural world.  Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2), have increased rapidly in the atmosphere and have changed the Earth’s climate. The exhibition explains how the resulting changes will severely stress human societies and damage ecosystems, cause sea levels to rise, increase the incidences of drought and intense storms, drastically raise temperatures over areas of land and ocean surfaces, and bring additional changes to the world around us.  There was a lot of information to absorb.

A diorama of a reef suffering from “coral bleaching,” caused by ocean acidification because more and more CO2 is dissolving into the oceans, is set against a backdrop of a healthy, colorful, living coral reef Photo-D. Finnin

Leaving the Climate Change exhibition, we entered another exhibit I strongly recommend.  This demonstrates what the City of Chicago has done and is planning to do to deal with climate change challenges by 2020.

Using interactive images, Climate Change demonstrates how air and ocean currents, sun-reflecting ice, and other factors determine our Earth’s climate. Photos-Roderick Mickens

But, do hurry or you will miss your chance to see Climate Change, the exhibition. 
Admission: Entrance into Climate Change are included in both Discovery and All-Access passes to The Field Museum, and are priced at $23-29 for adults, $19-24 for seniors and students with ID, and $16-20 for children 3-11. Discounts are available for Chicago residents. Visit or call 866.FIELD.03.  
Special rates are available for tour operators and groups of 15 or more. Call our Group Sales office toll-free at 888.FIELD.85 (888.343.5385).
Hours: The Field Museum is open daily from 9am – 5 pm.  The Field is closed Christmas Day.
Photos: Courtesy of Field Museum, Chicago and Google Images

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