French Alps

La Mer de Glace

Summer 2021, I travelled to Chamonix to photograph the Sea of Ice (La Mer de Glace in French), the largest glacier of France. The goal of this adventure was to see, with my own eyes, the impact of climate change. For me, this is the most important issue of the 21st century. In our daily lives, we can't easily see the direct impact of it, but in the mountains, this is a different story. Glaciers are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and since the industrial revolution, they are getting smaller every year.

The Sea of Ice is one of the best exemples. It is still 7km long and 200m deep, but it looses almost 10 meters of ice each year. At this rhythm, it will be gone by 2050. Before the industrial revolution, the glacier was so big that it touched the bottom of the valley, threatening to engulf the village under tens of meters of ice. Now, the Sea of Ice is just the shadow of its past glory.

Seeing what the glacier was like before and comparing it to what it is today encouraged me to tell the story of the Sea of Ice, the disappearing glacier.