Friday, July 12, 2013

Extreme Ice Survey - observing our planet's cryosphere

Eyewitness accounts of the state of our planet's cryosphere don't come easy or cheap.  

Making science accessible to the public is also a challenge that needs the active help of citizens.  

Please become familiar with this effort - perhaps you can help James Balog and his team.

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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, 28 cameras are deployed at 13 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalaya, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. (Plans to expand the EIS camera network into South America and Antarctica are currently underway.) 

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.

How did the Extreme Ice Survey get started?

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.

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James Balog: Time-lapse proof of extreme ice loss
TEDtalksDirector | Uploaded on Sep 9, 2009 Photographer James Balog shares new image sequences from the Extreme Ice Survey, a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change. 

May 9, 2013
Boulder, Colo.
We are pleased to announce that EIS can now add Antarctica to its list of time-lapse camera locations! More installations are scheduled for 2014.
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Human impact is changing the Earth’s climate rapidly. Nothing shows that climate change like ice and glaciers. Our fieldwork and global outreach programs require an annual budget of nearly $400,000.
Please partner with EIS at this momentuous time in history.
All donations are tax deductible.
With best regards and with much gratitude,
James Balog, Founder and Director, Extreme Ice Survey
Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted and are tax deductible though our fiscally responsible agent, The WILD Foundation*.
To donate online, visit
To donate by mail, please send checks to:
717 Poplar Avenue
Boulder, CO 80304
*The WILD Foundation ( is a non-profit 501(c)(3) NGO founded in the United States in 1974 by South African Ian Player, and based in Boulder, Colorado. For over 30 years WILD has worked around the world to protect highly threatened wilderness areas and wildlife.

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