- If you are not yet a Down To Earth subscriber, please click here to subscribe: Subscription
- If you are an existing Down To Earth subscriber, please log in to download digital archives.
A geologist-turned art collector believes paintings, water colours and prints can help us better understand the threat of rising sea levels and climate change. Robin McInnes, who heads a UK consultancy, Coastal and Geotechnical Services, had amassed quite a collection of paintings, prints and etchings of coastlines of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight between 1995 and 2007, when he ran the island's coastline management strategy.
The geologist analysed images from the 1770s to the 1920s. "Many artists returned to the same spot. Using art in this way helps us understand how people who live on coasts adapt to changing conditions over the centuries; in some locations this has involved retreating to higher or more stable ground further back from the coast," he said. McInnes recently presented his findings at a coastal engineering conference in Venice, where he learned of similar research that used Caravaggio's paintings to assess historic water levels in the sinking Italian city.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.