Chasing Ice: Review of The Award Winning Documentary

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“The smoking gun on climate change.”
– Robert F Kennedy Jr.

“The Climate Change debate is over.”
– Greg Reitman, Huffington Post


Segment from the film of largest calving event ever caught on tape.

Chasing Ice is an astonishing documentary that aims to prove Climate Change’s existence through a riveting visual experience.  It captures the evidence of glacial change in a tangible way never before seen by the public simply because it happens slower than the eye can see and at a scale larger than one can imagine.

River of Glacial Meltwater
River of glacial melt-water.

The documentary produced by Jeff Orlowski follows a team of photographers, named the “Extreme Ice Survey,” on their journeys to and from Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, and Montana.  Its leader, James Balog is a dedicated nature photographer who is incredibly passionate about photography and the Extreme Ice Survey’s main goal which is to provide real visual evidence of Climate Change in the form of photographs and time lapse videos.

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Moulin Cavern
Melt-water pouring into the glacial abyss through a moulin cavern.

In a matter of years, the team makes it possible to see glaciers disappear in front of your eyes.  They capture enormous chunks of ice the size of Manhattan violently fracturing, crumbling, and rolling into the sea while separating from massive glaciers; the biggest calving event ever recorded on tape.

Melting glaciers deflate as well as retract.

There are still some climate skeptics who argue that while some glaciers shrink, others grow and that variability in glacial sizes is a natural process experienced throughout the ages.  It is true that some glaciers grow, but when the statistical evidence is examined, a grossly high melting trend is impossible to ignore. 

Visualizing the Statistics
Visualizing the statistics.

Dr. Martin Sharp, a glaciologist from the University of Alberta in Canada studied the change in glacier area in the Yukon territory from 1958-2008.  What he found was that “..of the 1400 glaciers that were there in 1958, 4 got bigger, over 300 disappeared completely, and almost all of the rest got smaller.”

There is a plethora of reasons why glaciers are important, but one of the imperative rationales for our culture to understand is that they are the canary in the coal mine for our planet.  If the canaries are dying, the coal mine is becoming toxic, likewise, if glaciers are disappearing, we’re in big trouble, because our atmosphere’s chemistry is changing thus causing an abundance of problems.

Glacial Retreat
Illustration showing the recent acceleration of glacial retreat.

Chasing Ice shatters what little remaining debate there is about Climate Change.  It will alter or fortify your outlook on the subject and its urgency as an important global problem that needs to be addressed in everything that we do.  Watch this movie, it’s a must see, and it’s on Netflix!

Kid in Awe
Woah… this is real?


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3 thoughts on “Chasing Ice: Review of The Award Winning Documentary

  1. They don’t really show any of the time lapses. that’s gonna be the best part, you’d think they’d show one

    1. They do – when James was presenting at TED forums. It was amazing, shocking and horrible to see.

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