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TO JUNE 30
In “Polar Thaw: Global Warming in the Arctic and Antarctic,” Gary Braasch may have found the key to winning over those coldhearted souls who don’t obsess regularly about global warming. Braasch, in an exhibition of documentary photographs taken last year, illustrates how a warming trend in the Antarctic is already pitting one penguin species against another in a Darwinian death match. How can devoted penguists like me possibly sit on our hands as fuzzy adelie chicks battle their gentoo and chinstrap cousins for dwindling food resources and rookery space? (Warming Adelies is pictured.) But charismatic megafauna aside, Braasch is not one to overdose on gorgeous scenery, and although the Natural Resources Defense Council sponsored the show, its political spin doesn’t come off as heavy-handed. In fact, Braasch is skillful at using creative methods to capture the subtlest indicators of climate change, including encroachment by non-native plants and infestations by tree-killing beetles. Braasch uses a long exposure at dusk to capture the bumpy headlight paths of vehicles traveling on Alaskan roads buckled by unstable soil. In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he uses an oblique aerial view to demonstrate how Arctic Ocean ice has receded, possibly affecting everything from polar bears to global ocean currents. And science junkies—even those who aren’t into penguins—will get their fix from Braasch’s dramatic shots of floating research vessels and rain-slickered scientists grappling with sedimentary cores. On view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, to Friday, June 30, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Ave. NW. Free. (202) 326-6400. (Louis Jacobson)