Photographs Of Melting Glaciers Prove Climate Change Is Real

First Posted: Apr 05, 2017 03:57 AM EDT

Before and after photos of glaciers have become the proof of global warming impact on the planet, and it seems that ice is melting at a very alarming rate. In the span of a decade, scientists were able to document day-to-day ice melts in some of the world's over 5,000 glaciers -- and it is indeed pretty alarming.

The Geological Society of America's James Balog took majority of the photographs for the project called Extreme Ice Survey. It is with the project that started documenting the glaciers in 2006. Later on, in 2012, the work was featured in Chasing Ice, a documentary.

In the years 2006 to 2015, the photography project documented the retreating bodies of ice in Switzerland. Photos showed that the glaciers shrunk nearly three quarters of a mile. The Mendenhall glacier of Alaska shrunk over 1,800 feet, while the Solheimajokull glacier of Iceland shrunk 2,050 feet. The worst, however, was in Peru, where 3,740 feet was lost on the Qori Kalis glacier.

According to New York Post, the project was set on documenting the glaciers that received less press coverage than both Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets. Scientists previously noted that if such ice sheets melted entirely, sea levels around the globe will raise more than 200 feet. While the numbers could look into future years, possibly decades away, communities built around these smaller mountain glaciers could experience the consequences immediately. Some of the changes could include flooding or fresh water shortage. These areas usually rely on the runoff from glaciers as water source.

As for the photos, Balog told The Washington Post that ground-level photographs of these glaciers could provide a sense of urgency usually missing from other scientific tools. Solheimajokull Glacier of Iceland, however, had the most impact on him. He said, "It's where I kind of first realized how quickly the ice is changing."

The short clip he compiled shows just how big the changes have been in the past several years.

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