Bow Lake... A Remnant of the Little Ice Age?

Bow Lake - Non Traditional View
Canon 5D Mark ii + Canon 24mm f3.5L TSE v1
These hot summer days leave me dreaming about my recent travels to Canada and the Little Ice Age (LIA) that was. I first learned about the the LIA from a 6th grade teacher who had a penchant for all things science (sound familiar?). A discussion about dinosaurs meandered into topics about extinction and the “current” North American Ice Age. To a desert rat of a kid in 29 Palms-California, I figured the guy was bonkers and let the story pass without a second thought! Thirty-some years later, I’m driving from Banff to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway and see a sign commemorating the “Little Ice Age” that ended around 1850. 
The glacial remnants that fill the alpine valleys of the Canadian Rockies remind us of the ephemeral state of any given point in time. While the present is now defined by the reckless dumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and subsequent warming trend, I find it interesting on this hot day to contemplate the cause of a cooling pattern that ended less than 200 years ago.
Anyway, the period known as the “Little Ice Age,” was initiated by a minor geologic event that occurred between the years 1250 and 13001. A series of volcanic eruptions dispersed sulfate particles into the upper atmosphere and blocked the sun’s solar radiation that warms the planet’s surface... just a sidebar here, it appears that sulfate reflects solar rays and initiates cooling, much like carbon dioxide redirects infrared radiation that would otherwise escape into space, and stimulates planetary warming!... The effects of the cooling trend is visible in the European and Asian art of the period that depicts scenes of winter, failed crops and ice festivals. Furthermore, a study of Canadian and Icelandic icecaps reveal the expansion and contraction of glaciers, and succession of plant species that accompanies a dramatic climate change.  Interestingly, recent research suggests that the onset of the ice age was the product of positive feedback. Specifically, volcanic eruptions reflected solar radiation which cooled the planet and allowed for the expansion of northern ice sheets. As the amount of atmospheric sulfates diminished, the expanding ice continued to reflect the increasing solar radiation and thus extend the cooling trend. Were it not for the industrial revolution and the burning of fossilized carbon, we might still be in an ice age today... just a little something to ponder.
Bow Lake in Black and White
Canon 5D Mark ii + Canon 24mm f3.5L TSE v1
The two images in the post were taken along the Bow River at Bow Lake. With an altitude of 1920 m, Bow Lake is south of the Bow Summit, east of the Wapta Icefield, and can be found along the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. On this rainy evening, the sun was obscured by a thick ceiling of clouds and a cold wind was agitating the water. I chose a vertical composition to include both the lake and mountain peaks. Using a variable neutral density filter on my wide angle lens, I was able to produce a 13 second exposure and capture the movement of the wind on the lake’s water. While I was amazed by the broad color spectrum on this day, I feel like the black and white treatment more accurately conveys the cold and dreary nature of the experience.

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