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As scientists try to figure it out, Balog is finding evidence to help answer some of these questions.His Extreme Ice Survey is the largest photographic study of the cryosphere ever attempted.The waxing and waning of the ice sheets have been implicated in who lives where and what they do.And there are even some people who have suggested that we're humans now, in part, because we were responding to the changes in our environment that were linked to the growth and shrinkage of the ice.As the pilot hovers a few inches above the glacier, O'Neel positions the target onto the ice.Pfeffer locks onto the target and shoots a laser that reflects back to the stationary gun, recording the position. By tracking its movement with the laser, over several days, they will be able to calculate the speed of the Columbia.(Program not available for streaming.) Follow photojournalist James Balog to some of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth as he documents the disappearance of an icy landscape that took thousands of years to form.An artist, scientist, explorer, and former mountain guide, Balog braves treacherous terrain to site his cameras in ideal locations to record the unfolding drama.
Although calving is normal, the Columbia is hemorrhaging ice so quickly that in the last 30 years the glacier has receded 10 miles up the fjord.
Out here, basically, we're looking at a whole landscape full of crystals. Every time you go in here you're taking a risk, because these bergs are inherently unstable. As the glacier moves, it churns up dirt and rocks that collect on its surface.
The Columbia is so vast, it's hard to imagine it vanishing.
He is deploying 26 time-lapse cameras on glaciers across the northern hemisphere and programming them to shoot a frame every daylight hour for three years.
It is a massive challenge, in some of the most hostile regions on Earth. Over the millennia, the expansion and contraction of ice across the continents has fundamentally altered the planet, gouging out lakes and valleys and pushing man around the earth.
In the extreme, ice-bound regions of the earth, something unprecedented is happening.