Annals of global warming: Columbia Glacier, Alaska (by James Balog)

Actual observations of the world show global warming.  Time-lapse photos of the destruction of the Columbia Glacier, in Alaska, by James Balog, should make any person start wondering how to control warming processes.

It’s a film documenting warming, a film that Joanne Nova and Anthony Watts hope you will never see.*

James Balog, at TEDS, explains the stuff in under 20 minutes:

From National Geographic’s site:

© 2008 James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey

This remarkable image sequence captures a series of massive calving events at Columbia Glacier near Valdez, Alaska. Composed of 436 frames taken between May and September of 2007, it shows the glacier rapidly retreating by about half a mile (1.6 kilometers), a volume loss of some 0.4 cubic miles (1.67 cubic kilometers) of ice or 400 billion gallons (1.5 trillion liters) of water.

The time-lapse was taken as part of the ongoing Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), an ambitious project to capture global warming-induced glacial retreat in the act. Beginning in December 2006, photographer James Balog and his colleagues set up 26 solar-powered cameras at glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, the Alps, and the Rocky Mountains. Each unit will take a photograph every daylight hour until fall 2009.

In 2008, Balog’s team began to return to each of the camera sites to collect images. In the end, they will have more than 300,000 images to analyze and stitch together to produce more dramatic videos like this one.

This kind of multiyear effort, says Balog, is necessary to “radically alter public perception of the global warming issue.”

Don’t miss: Extreme Ice a NOVA/National Geographic Television special airing on PBS March 24, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.



Am I too harsh?  Go over to those blogs and see if you can find the WordPress pingback listed in the comments to those posts, for this post’s link to them.  No?  Then they’ve gone in and deleted the message.  It’s automatic on WordPress, and it works wonderfully.  But if they have the readership they claim, and if they are so certain of their views, why do they fear Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub?

9 Responses to Annals of global warming: Columbia Glacier, Alaska (by James Balog)

  1. […] “Annals of global warming:  Columbia Glacier, Alaska (by James Balog)” […]


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    So, what do you think is causing the climate change? What else correlates with the unprecedented, continuing rise in temperature, other than greenhouse gases?


  3. Bryan says:

    I’m having the same problem with your response that I am with Balog’s presentation. I’m not denying climate change. It’s obvious (“self-evident”) but, to me, Balog and you refer to climate change and AGW as if it is a given that they interchangeable. I don’t believe Balog’s presentation makes that case, regardless of how much he wants to have that billboard on Times Square. I expect climate change was obvious to the explorers of the northern Pacific going back to Cook’s time, given how much the glaciers have retreated since the end of the Little Ice Age, included the 40 miles of glacier lost between 1795 and 1879.

    I see a distinction and a difference between climate change and AGW and don’t feel comfortable seeing the concepts used interchangeably.


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Climate change is self-evident. The anthropogenic aspect, not so much. Not that it’s not there, but I don’t see how this time-lapse project is supposed to convince anyone, if they take half a minute to review the history of Glacier Bay.

    I think one should be impressed by, or at least pay attention to, the acceleration of the the shrinking of the glaciers, and the newly discovered processes such as the lake tunneling, which has not been observed until now, is related very directly to climate change, and which speeds the destruction of the glaciers.

    Consider Ilulissat. That glacier alone may cause major disasters. How should we prepare for them? Can the disasters be prevented? Can you suggest something other than global warming to explain the rapid acceleration of its deterioration?

    And then there is this: Many climate change denialists claim that many glaciers, if not most of them, are actually growing, increasing in health. The photos show the exact opposite. It’s difficult to deny the photographs.


  5. Bryan says:

    While I’m impressed with the technical skills required to make this photographic process happen, I have to ask why? I saw no better graphical representation of glacial retreat than that found on the brochure made available by the NPS for Glacier Bay NP. That brochure shows the retreat of the entire ice sheet over centuries. Capt. Cook was unable to enter Glacier Bay two hundred years ago because it was covered with ice. The ice has been retreating at least since then. Why ignore 200 years of history? I don’t write this as a denialist. Climate change is self-evident. The anthropogenic aspect, not so much. Not that it’s not there, but I don’t see how this time-lapse project is supposed to convince anyone, if they take half a minute to review the history of Glacier Bay. Viewing Balog’s presentation was almost as frustrating as Al Gore on the scissor lift ascending the projected CO2 chart. It’s visually impressive but insufficiently substantive.


  6. Excellent time lapse. I think chicken little will be sufficiently impressed – once he comes out from under his desk.

    As spectacular as the images are, they are not very informative as to the extent of global warming or global cooling, both which have occurred for eons, long before evil hoo-mans started pumping oil and driving SUVs.

    Ice core samples from around the globe provide a much more accurate picture for these types of conclusions than ‘trailer footage’ from the nature channel.

    It’s like a cycle or something!


  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Check out the video. He’s showing glaciers in dramatic drive to the ocean, and in retreat year over year.

    Healthy glaciers don’t retreat in the summer. They advance. If it’s in retreat, that means the volume is decreasing, and new snow at the back end isn’t equal to the volume of stuff coming off the calving face.

    If winter snows replenish the glaciers, great. That’s not happening with any mountain glaciers anywhere. Kilimanjaro’s glaciers had been predicted to be depleted by 2020, a decade or so ago. That appears to be part of a natural cycle — sad to see them go, kids won’t know what the Hemingway’s book title means, etc.

    But in the past five years the melting speeded dramatically. If you’ve not been to the mountain to see the glaciers, you probably won’t see them now, in your lifetime.

    Were it just summer action, no one would be concerned.


  8. I accept the theory of AGW. I respect the aggregate nature of the research from so many fields that went into it. I don’t believe in conspiracies.

    That said, why should I be alarmed by a glacier retreating over the course of a summer?


Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: