Ecocentric

ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers

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I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world as TIME’s environment correspondent: to rainforests, Himalayan mountains, coral reefs. But far and away the most singular spot I ever visited was the far north of Greenland. I saw vast flat ice sheets that spread in all directions, without end. I saw icebergs that could dwarf an ocean liner, suspended in the purest cerulean blue. I saw glaciers so vast as to seem indestructible—and I heard earth-shattering crack when they broke apart.

As the environmental photographer James Balog shows in his new book Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, the deep ice of the poles is far from invulnerable. Balog’s breathtaking pictures show how erosion and melting temperatures take their toll on the glaciers, shrinking and carving them.

The result is dazzling to look at, but terrifying for the planet. As glaciers melt, more and more water flows into the oceans, raising sea levels. This July scientists were surprised to see the entire Greenland ice sheet essentially turn to mush for a few days in an unusually rapid thaw. Arctic sea ice melted to its smallest extent this summer in decades. The day could well come when the only place will be able to see glaciers will be photographs like those in Ice.

More Photography from Time

44 comments
AnumakondaJagadeesh
AnumakondaJagadeesh

Magnificient pictures. One must see.Dr.A.Jagadeesh  Nellore(AP),India

AveryRobertson
AveryRobertson

Glacier Park in the US was a magnificient park next to Yellowstone, but the glaciers are almost gone there too.. what do we call it when it happens?  "The Worlds Apathy Park"?

aurorainiceland
aurorainiceland

I live in Iceland and we are seeing the glaciers disappear in front of our eyes - slowly and slowly - it is sad. We developed some Ice climbing tour for you to enjoy them in your Iceland holidays before they are all gone! Hope you will join us before it is too late

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

As a conservative, or radical traditionalist, I am waiting for more of my fellow "conservatives" to jump into the Comments section beneath this review to make their typical claims, such as, say, it is well documented that the earth's glaciers have for many years been growing by leaps and bounds. I am also entertained by the people who say, first, that global warming is a myth, second, that even if it is happening, it is not man-made, and, third, even if it is happening and it is man-made, it is not a bad thing, since, for example, Greenland will be able to put in lush fields of watermelon and summer squash. Now that's what I call covering all bases. 

I will give them this. Al Gore doesn't really care that much about the environment, or he would not be an overpopulation/open-borders apologist. But you can't help wondering how much industry money is behind some of these people. Of course many industries eventually will be pulled under by global warming, but most people are not concerned about some problem that is going to reach its crisis stage decades down the line, again, as our virulent anti-environment anti-Western civilization open-borders policies attest. 

Knowledge
Knowledge

Total solar output is now measured to vary (over the last three 11-year sunspot cycles) by approximately 0.1%, or about 1.3 Watts per square meter (W/m2) peak-to-trough from solar maximum to solar minimum during the 11-year sunspot cycle.

flatpicker01
flatpicker01

I wonder why they don't report a record ice this year on the bottom of the planet ? It would probably have an impact on their global warming rheory.

ars5151
ars5151

FYI, the ice age is over. Of course the ice is going to melt....

alex.ormeno
alex.ormeno

Ha ha Republican scientists (Rush Limbaugh included) believe that since one cannot see the trillion tons CO2 and other greenhouse gasses that we spit into the atmosphere every month; it shouldn’t have any effect on climate…

j0eschm0e
j0eschm0e

glaciers can only stack so high, then they proceed to travel under great gravity. seems no one wants to think about solar maximum this year and next. in 5 years it'll be cooler. umm why hasnt anyone cried about global warming when saddam hussien burned the oil fields back in 1991? / 1992?

Liqui-Fire
Liqui-Fire

Electrical "Heat Trace Tape" and or "Frost Prevention Heat Tapes" are at the route cause. One individual company boast sales of over 200 million feet in one country alone.  That is enough to circle the earth at the equator.  Imagine how much area it would cover if it were spiraled out from the North Pole spaced with one foot between each circle of the pole.  Nothing freezes beneath these tapes.

Renzo_Lucente
Renzo_Lucente

La natura ci riserva delle meraviglie che noi dovremmo preservare per fare in modo che anche le future generazioni possano godere di queste visioni...