Arctic, Impacts

Global Survey Visually Documents Glacial Retreat

Glacier River

The Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is a coordinated effort to visually study and document rapidly changing glaciers around the world using time-lapse photography, conventional photography, and video. Sponsored in part by NASA, the National Science Foundation, and National Geographic, the EIS utilizes 27 cameras installed at 15 sites including Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, and the Rocky Mountains, supplemented by annual repeat photography in Iceland, the Alps, and Bolivia.

EIS Survey Map
Figure 1: EIS Locations; Graphic Credit: EIS

Led by James Balog, a nature photojournalist with National Geographic, the EIS teams consist of imagemakers, engineers, and scientists focused on understanding glacial change. Each camera is configured to take one photo an hour during daylight hours, accumulating approximately 4,000 images a year. The images are then edited together to form video documentation of the changes over time. The project is expected to generate nearly 500,000 images by its completion.

The project has generated a NOVA television documentary, “Extreme Ice”, and an accompanying book, Extreme Ice Now.

Alaska Ice
Figure 2: Columbia Bay, Alaska; Photo Credit: EIS


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173 professional scientific organizations (and counting) around the world acknowledge the global impact of rising emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities

The Indicators

Climate Change Indicators Climate Change Indicators NASA GISS - Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature ChangeGlobal Temperature Sea level change from 1993 to the present day Global Sea Level Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly, 1979-Present Arctic Ice Melt Glacial Retreat, 1980-2010 Glacial Retreat Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations, Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 Level
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