Patrons of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) had the chance to see the eye-opening documentary “Chasing Ice” in November, as part of the annual film showcase. Already the winner of several awards, including the Excellence in Cinematography Award: US Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Festival, “Chasing Ice” documents nature photographer James Balog’s ambitious and passion-driven project, Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), for which Balog and his team traveled to Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, and other glacial sites to set up time-lapse cameras to capture, for the general public, very real and visual proof of global warming.
Despite suffering from chronic knee problems, Balog and his EIS team traveled by foot through icy terrain to set up cameras that would catch valuable and tangible proof of glacial calving (breaking apart) and retreat since Balog founded the project in 2007. And the EIS website reports that time-lapse cameras will also be installed in Antarctica beginning in 2014.
In 2008, the team setting up the cameras on Greenland even caught the calving of the giant Ilulissat glacier on video, as can be seen here on The Guardian’s website.
"Chasing Ice" also explains the role of moulins in ice calving, analyzes the carbon dioxide patterns found in ice that are further evidence of global warming, and shows brilliant visuals from the time-lapse series, exposing in seconds the terrifying and fast-moving retreat of our planet's ice.
“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine. It’s the place where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action,” Balog told the audience during his July 2009 TED Talk. “Ninety-five percent of the glaciers in the world are retreating or shrinking.”