Ice Ice…Maybe? Maybe Not!

Published on by Green Initiatives

As was mentioned in our World Oceans Day post, over the last two decades, the two major ice sheets found on our planet, Greenland and Antarctica, are now losing mass six times faster than they were in the 1990s. This not only endangering millions of people due to sea level rise but also causing us to risk losing these delicate, beautiful ice sheets – entirely!

[Read our previous post, ‘Our Oceans Have Been Bombed’]

Here’s some chilling photographs by renowned environmental photographer - James Balog, that depict ice glaciers and structures that exist in the Arctic. Collectively, they serve as some of the world’s most amazing landscapes.

As we take a look at these stunning photographs, let us ask ourselves: are these phenomenal structures really worth losing?

A Visual Journey

Rappelling into Survey Canyon, looking down at moulin channel dropping meltwater 2000 vertical feet into crevasses through Greenland Ice Sheet.

Icebergs calved from Jakobshavn Glacier float to sea near Illulissat. This glacier dumps more ice into the global ocean than any other glacier in the Northern Hemisphere, and is thus Greenland's single biggest contributor to the global sea level rise of one-eight inch per year.


EIS field assistant, Adam LeWinter on NE rim of Birthday Canyon, atop feature called “Moab”. Greenland Ice Sheet, July 2009.


The calving of Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland was the largest glacier calving event ever captured on film. It lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.


In Disko Bay, Greenland, 20-story high icebergs broken off from the Greenland Ice Sheet float into the North Atlantic, raising sea level.


Decaying ice and icebergs on the surface of the Jokulsarlon in southeast Iceland. The ice drains off the great icecap called the Vatnajokull (umlaut over the “o”).


Having calved from Jakobshavn Glacier, icebergs float out into Disko Bay and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean. Greenland, August 2007.


Time lapse of melting Solheim Glacier in Iceland over 4 years, 6 months. Tracked with EIS system.


The Jakobshavns Isbrae (Jakobshaven Ice Stream) has calved these icebergs into the waters of the Jakobshavns Isfjord ("Ice Fjord"). The bergs are melting into the North Atlantic Ocean as they float through Disko Bay and continue out to sea. The Jakobshavn is responsible for putting more ice into the global ocean than any other glacier in the northern hemisphere. The iceberg that sank the "Titanic" probably originated here. For some bergs it can take a full year to travel the 50 km down the fjord before they reach the bay.

Who is James Balog?

James Balog is an American photographer whose work explores one of the most important issues of our era: human modification of nature. He developed the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) in 2007, a long-term photography program that gives a “visual voice” to climate change. EIS has been used to track melting glaciers from all over the world, visually depicting the consequences of our increasingly warming planet. As a result of this historic work, Balog has served as a US/NASA representative at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 15) in 2009. He has also made numerous presentations on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and at major institutions such as the White House, Apple, the US Congress, Environmental Protection Agency, and the 2010 Winter Olympics. His photography work is the main focus within the documentary, Chasing Ice.

Chasing Ice Film Screening

Green Initiatives will be hosting a film screening of Chasing Ice on Tuesday June 16, from 19:00-21:00.This documentary is shot by environmental photographer James Balog. His task? To capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate.

Chasing Ice is a story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. A film comprising of breathtaking photography and visuals, Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

​Scan the QR code below to register. Limited seats available.