Glaciers around the world are melting, retreating and even vanishing altogether.

Not since Al Gore’s 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth has such a powerful documentary feature film come out about the Earth’s changing climate.

In the recently released Chasing Ice, National Geographic photographer James Balog trains revolutionary, time-lapse cameras on glaciers in Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and Glacier National Park in order to capture a multiyear, undeniable record of the planet’s disappearing ice fields.

In the spring of 2005, in an endeavor he named the Extreme Ice Survey, Balog, along with a team of young adventurers, began setting up the cameras across the Arctic. Although there were many tough years of trial and error, finally some hauntingly beautiful photos emerged—as well as this moving film.


The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina towers above the turquoise glacial water of Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park, beaming a blinding white and exuding cold blue hues.

Despite his scientific background, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. His first trip to the North, however, opened his photographer’s eyes to one of the biggest stories in our history.

Climate change, of course, is still one of those hot-button issues that tend to polarize America, even as the intensity of natural disasters grows around the world. Balog’s film is one of those that has the power to convince and change minds. After I saw the movie on Friday, I hung around the theater door as people were leaving. The most frequent comment I heard was, “I’m going to tell my friends that they must see this movie.”


Melting glaciers and ice sheets are the biggest cause of sea-level rise in recent decades.

Watch the trailer for Chasing Ice below. Then, view the video of another filmgoer, who reflects the sentiments of my fellow movie-watchers on Friday.

In December, Chasing Ice will be screened before the United Nations. I hope this month, you’ll go out to see it for yourself.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,


Experience these disappearing glacial landscapes before it’s too late. Natural Habitat Adventures offers adventures in Greenland, expeditions in Antarctica and tours in Patagonia—all featuring amazing encounters with breathtaking glaciers.