October 8, 2013 > Shrinking Glaciers Dramatize Global Warming
Shrinking Glaciers Dramatize Global Warming
Submitted By Sharat G. Lin
Glaciers, monumental rivers of ice that seem as immutable as Half Dome or the Rock of Gibraltar, are actually in constant motion. Ice, nearly everywhere on the planet, some of it tens of thousands of years old, is melting at an alarming rate. And the rate of melting, often imperceptible at the base of glaciers, is accelerating as climate change becomes more consistent and cold years become fewer.
For example, when Glacier National Park in Montana was established in 1910, it had some 150 glaciers. Today, only a century later, more than 120 have disappeared altogether. Of the fewer than 30 glaciers remaining, most have shrunk in area by over two-thirds. According to the U.S. Geological Survey scientists, if the current trend continues, the remaining glaciers may all vanish by 2050.
Area residents will have an opportunity to see for themselves these giant glaciers shrinking and collapsing before their very eyes. The documentary film Chasing Ice follows acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog as he travels across the Arctic to deploy remarkable time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the worldÕs changing glaciers. Along the way, the expedition is challenged by extreme weather conditions and plagued by technical malfunctions.
Once a skeptic about climate change, Balog becomes convinced after his first trip to Iceland that global warming is real and caused by human activity.
BalogÕs hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into minutes and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.
Discussion following the film will be led by Jeff Spencer, a climate activist and senior pastor at Niles Discovery Church. Audience participation is always welcomed. Admission is free, although donations are welcomed.
Screening of Chasing Ice is part of the Second Saturday Documentary Series, and is sponsored by Tri-City Perspectives, Niles Discovery Church, and the San Jose Peace and Justice Center.
Saturday, October 12
Niles Discovery Church Auditorium
255 H Street (enter on 3rd Street)
The Emmons Glacier on Mt. Rainier in Washington state, the largest glacier by surface area in the continental United States, as seen in 2004 is smaller today as new snowfall fails to keep up with annual melting. Photo by Sharat G. Lin