On the Heels of Hurricane Sandy, Chasing Ice Heads to Theaters

Birthday Canyon, Greenland ice sheet

This year’s EMA Award winner for Best Documentary Film, Chasing Ice, may be more timely than ever. After Sandy devastated the East Coast, many are questioning what caused such a powerful storm to begin with. Many cite climate change as an obvious factor. One theory is that the storm was caused by this year’s record ice melt in the Arctic.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, photographer James Balog conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

Watch the captivating trailer for Chasing Ice below. Continue reading

Not Just Another Melting Ice Story: Greenland’s Thawed Ice Spikes to 97% in a Week

The image of Greenland above was captured by NASA satellites. The image on the left was taken on July 8, 2012 and the one on the right was taken only four days later on July 12.

Per the NASA press release: Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12.

On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. This year’s dramatic ice melt is more than double the normal rate of the summer season.

This isn’t just another story about ice melting in a far away land. The satellite images were so shocking that scientists couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said, “This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: Was this real or was it due to a data error?” Continue reading