The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) will open Extreme Ice, a new temporary exhibit illustrating the immediacy of climate change and how it is altering our world, on March 23, 2017. American photographer James Balog captured thought-provoking images over a multi-year period that showcase the dramatic extent of melting glaciers around the world. Through stunning photographic documentation and time-lapse videography of these glaciers, Extreme Ice provides guests an emotionally visual representation of climate change. This exhibit encourages and educates guests on how they can make a difference in their daily lives. Extreme Ice will run through early 2019.
Balog is the founder and director of the Earth Vision Institute and Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging, ground-based, photographic study of glaciers. Extreme Ice features the EIS team’s global documentation of glacier melt—alongside other hands-on interactive and informative elements—to illustrate what is happening around the world at a rapid rate.
“MSI has a responsibility to our guests, schools and communities to showcase exhibits that present complex scientific concepts in an accessible way,” said Dr. Patricia Ward, director of science and technology at MSI. “Extreme Ice showcases James Balog’s beautifully powerful photography to illustrate the real and alarming speed at which glaciers are melting around the world. The exhibit presents a unique and emotional way to educate guests about climate change.”
Nearly 200,000 known glaciers have been mapped and catalogued around the world, according to an international team from the University of Colorado Boulder and Trent University in Ontario, Canada. Since the early 20th century most of them have been retreating due to the warming climate, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
Balog and his team used precisely engineered time-lapse cameras to document 24 glaciers around the world, recording their dramatic changes, which are on display in the exhibit. His team’s compelling and high-resolution footage places guests directly into settings such as Glacier National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Alps, giving everyone a chance to see the real and alarming speed at which glaciers are melting around the world.
“It is a privilege to showcase the Extreme Ice Survey at the Museum of Science and Industry, as it is vital to engage with new audiences about climate change,” Balog said. “Photography is one of the most powerful mediums of communication we have; visual evidence illuminates our world in a way that nothing else can.”