Photographer James Balogset out to film climate change by placing two dozen time-lapse cameras throughout the Arctic.The result, aside from frostbit fingers and a near helicopter crash, are stunning images of melting glaciers.
His footage is captured in “Chasing Ice,” a 75-minute documentary with scenes of a house being washed away by surging water — a timely visual given Superstorm Sandy’s recent rampage along the East Coast. The film opened Friday in New York City and will enter select U.S. theaters later this month.
Balog, once a skeptic of global warming, was surprised by what he and his crew found. “In the first few months, we were seeing tremendously mind-boggling change in some of the cameras,” he says. “Then as a few years went on, we all started to get the feeling of, God, this is such a powerful piece of history. We’ve got monumental change happening in front of our eyes.”
Here’s a report from USA Today about this wildfire season. I heard the other day that more acreage burned in Montana this year than in 1910. Here’s and excerpt:
For only the third time on record, the total number of acres burned due to wildfires across the country so far this year has topped 9 million, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center. The area scorched, as of Friday – 9,101,461 acres – is roughly the size of the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.
Since 1960, when we began keeping good records, surpassing 9 million acres burned has only happened three times: this year, 2006 and 2007,” reports Randy Eardley, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
With more than seven weeks of fall and winter weather left in the year, he says it’s unlikely that we’ll break the record set in 2006, when 9.8 million acres burned. (In 2007, 9.3 million acres were charred.)…
Some of the worst fires were in Colorado, which endured both its most and second-most destructive wildfires in state history in June, and in Oregon, which had its largest fire in state history in July, the National Climatic Data Center reports. The worst month nationally was August, when more than 3.6 million acres burned, the highest single month since 2000.
Structure losses are another measure of fire season severity, and for the 346 homeowners who lost their homes to Colorado Springs’ “Waldo Canyon” fire alone, 2012 is arguably the worst fire season ever, says Eardley.
More Climate Change coverage here.