Time-Lapse Photography Tells Harrowing Story of Retreating Glaciers

posted: 11/16/15
by: Discovery.com Staff

Nothing is as effective at telling the story of a planet in peril than a striking photograph. Over the past 8 years, the Extreme Ice Survey has collected 1.1 million striking photographs documenting the plight of the world's melting glaciers.

Founded in 2007 by esteemed nature photojournalist James Balog, the project has deployed 43 time-lapse cameras to 24 different glaciers across the world. As human-driven climate change has intensified, the cameras' lenses have captured the remarkably rapid retreat of some of the planet's most majestic glaciers.

For the past five years, the project's cameras took one photo each hour of South Georgia Island, an area in Antarctica that is widely considered to be the fastest-warming place on Earth:

Click here to watch the video
Earth Vision Institute via Vimeo

According to the Survey's website, the solar-powered camera rigs weigh upwards of 100 pounds each. A dustproof case and "complex system of anchors and guy wires" protect the equipment from the harsh Antarctic elements. Each camera's photos are downloaded as rarely as once a year.


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