Founded in 2007 by James Balog, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. EIS imagery preserves a visual legacy, providing a unique baseline—useful in years, decades and even centuries to come—for revealing how climate change and other human activity impacts the planet.
The other aspect of EIS is time-lapse photography: currently, 43 cameras are deployed at 24 glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Austria, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. These cameras record changes in the glaciers every half hour of daylight year round, yielding approximately 8,500 frames per camera per year. We edit the time-lapse images into stunning videos that reveal how fast climate change is transforming large regions of the planet. Finally, EIS supplements the time-lapse record with episodic repeat photography in the French and Swiss Alps, Canada, Iceland and Bolivia.
The Extreme Ice Survey’s unique approach combines art and science, shaping public perception more effectively than either science or art can do alone. EIS has already utilized this imagery to impact well over 150 million people between 2007 and 2014.
Extreme Ice Survey is a program of Earth Vision Institute. EVI funds the work of James Balog and collaborators as they unearth unique visual evidence of our impact on air, water, forests and wildlife.
ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers by James Balog was released September 2012 in collaboration with Rizzoli New York, the world-renowned publisher of art books. Terry Tempest Williams, one of America’s most distinguished environmental writers and thinkers, contributes the epilogue.
In this kaleidoscopic view of remote Arctic and alpine landscapes, ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers celebrates a realm of exquisite beauty at the same time as it reveals how climate change is altering our world. Selected from the million-strong EIS photo archive, ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers celebrates the art and architecture of ice. We see stupendous ice sheets transformed by the sun, seawater and time, until they become small, glittering diamonds melting into the ever-rising global ocean.