VSAR 440- Chasing Ice by James Balog

For one of our two homework assignments for VSAR 440, we were told to watch the documentary Chasing Ice by James Balog, in the beginning of the documentary, we see the news talking about natural disasters, such as Hurricane Irene which cost the US 7 billion dollars in damages in 2011. The documentary goes into detail about how 2011 was the “most expensive year ever for weather related damages.” As well as wildfire damages and political disagreements about if there is such a thing as “global warming.” The documentary goes on to show James Balog talking about how during his youth he decided to change his career path while finishing his masters in Geomorphology. He loved science, but he wanted to do more than work with monitors. James wanted to show the interaction between humans and animals, so he showed humans hunting them, he found this to be really hard to see or even photograph, so he changed to endangered wildlife, causing a movement in wilderness and awareness as well. Later on the documentary goes on to show James and a group of photographers and scientists from National Geographic’s going across the arctic deploying time lapse cameras. A dozen cameras were deployed in Greenland. 5 in Iceland, 5 in Alaska, and lastly 2 in Montana. One of the cast members talks about how “he didn’t think that humans were capable of changing the basic physics and chemistry of this entire huge planet. It didn’t seem probable or possible.” Proof to the change in the climate is the ice cores, it shows the history of climate changes. Ice cores are these as stated in the documentary Chasing Ice “giant domes of ice that preserves climate records, they are very much like tree rings.” Overall I found that with research and photographic proof we can show others evidence of the dangers nature and human kind are facing now and near future. To help people be more aware of climate change. That global warming is real and that people should care.


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