Monday, December 3, 2012

Documenting the End of Arctic Ice on our Planet


It's imperative to pay attention to the disappearance of ancient ice all over the world. It's not an academic question of "when" this will happen anymore. Global Warming is real. It is happening right now and the effects on our planet will be devastating as temperatures and oceans rise.

I saw parts of the movie "Chasing Ice" on PBS a few months ago, and it is amazing. What they are documenting is historic, awe-inspiring and undeniable. And real.

Earth Vision Trust on Facebook
James Balog on Twitter

"A lot of people have told me it's time to stop but I find myself with a profound committment to continuing to tell this story. I feel like I'm in the middle of the biggest story I could possibly ever be in the middle of as an environmental photographer. This is a monumental historic change in the natural landscape, happening in our time."
~ James Balog, "Chasing Ice" Photographer, on PBS News

From the Extreme Ice Survey Website
In 2005, internationally acclaimed nature photojournalist James Balog traveled to Iceland to photograph glaciers for The New Yorker. This led to a 2006 National Geographic assignment to document changing glaciers in various parts of the world. In the course of shooting that story (which became the June 2007 cover story, “The Big Thaw”), Balog, who in addition to being a photographer is a mountaineer with a graduate degree in geomorphology, recognized that extraordinary amounts of ice were vanishing with shocking speed. Features that took centuries to develop were being destroyed in just a few years or even just a few weeks. These changes are the most visually dramatic and immediate manifestations of climate change on our planet today.

Founded in 2007 by James Balog, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. One aspect of EIS is an extensive portfolio of single-frame photos celebrating the beauty–the art and architecture–of ice. The other aspect of EIS is time-lapse photography; currently, 34 cameras are deployed at 16 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalaya, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. These cameras record changes in the glaciers every half hour, year-round during daylight, yielding approximately 8,000 frames per camera per year. We edit the time-lapse images into stunning videos that reveal how fast climate change is transforming large regions of the planet. Finally, EIS supplements the time-lapse record with episodic repeat photography in the French and Swiss Alps, Canada, Iceland, and Bolivia.

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