Apr 10, 2009
In the extreme, ice-bound regions of the earth, something unprecedented is happening. Everywhere, glaciers and ice sheets have begun breaking apart, and accelerating towards the oceans at alarming speeds. As scientists try to forecast the future consequences of the big melt, internationally acclaimed photographer James Balog is risking everything to capture the phenomena on film. Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey is the largest photographic study of the cryosphere ever attempted - deploying 25 time-lapse cameras on glaciers across the Northern Hemisphere, in some of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth. Teaming up with scientists in the field who are dissecting the complex mechanics of glaciers and ice sheets, Balog probes deep into the underworld of the ice – rappelling down into narrow crevasses and scaling vast ice canyons carved out by raging torrents of meltwater. Changes in the earth’s geology were once though to take thousands of years to play out, but Balog’s photographs are hard proof that these epochal transformations can happen right before our eyes.