MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, CHICAGO OPENS EXTREME ICE MARCH 23, 2017
New temporary exhibit showcases effects of climate change through stunning footage
CHICAGO, Ill. (March 23, 2017)—The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) will open Extreme Ice, a new temporary exhibit illustrating the immediacy of climate change and how it is altering our world, on March 23, 2017. American photographer James Balog captured thought-provoking images over a multi-year period that showcase the dramatic extent of melting glaciers around the world. Through stunning photographic documentation and time-lapse videography of these glaciers, Extreme Ice provides guests an emotionally visual representation of climate change. This exhibit encourages and educates guests on how they can make a difference in their daily lives.
Balog is the founder and director of the Earth Vision Institute and Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging, ground-based, photographic study of glaciers. Extreme Ice features the EIS team’s global documentation of glacier melt—alongside other hands-on interactive and informative elements—to illustrate what is happening around the world at a rapid rate.
“MSI has a responsibility to our guests, schools and communities to showcase exhibits that present complex scientific concepts in an accessible way,” said Dr. Patricia Ward, director of science and technology at MSI. “Extreme Ice showcases James Balog’s beautifully powerful photography to illustrate the real and alarming speed at which glaciers are melting around the world. The exhibit presents a unique and emotional way to educate guests about climate change.”
Nearly 200,000 known glaciers have been mapped and catalogued around the world, according to an international team from the University of Colorado Boulder and Trent University in Ontario, Canada. Since the early 20th century most of them have been retreating due to the warming climate, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
Balog and his team used precisely engineered time-lapse cameras to document 24 glaciers around the world, recording their dramatic changes, which are on display in the exhibit. His team’s compelling and high-resolution footage places guests directly into settings such as Glacier National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Alps, giving everyone a chance to see the real and alarming speed at which glaciers are melting around the world.
“It is a privilege to showcase the Extreme Ice Survey at the Museum of Science and Industry, as it is vital to engage with new audiences about climate change,” Balog said. “Photography is one of the most powerful mediums of communication we have; visual evidence illuminates our world in a way that nothing else can.”
Large-scale high-resolution photo prints in the exhibit depict scenes around the world, including:
• Mount Kilimanjaro ice field in Tanzania, Africa, expected to melt by 2060
• Trift Glacier in Switzerland, one of the fastest-retreating in the European Alps
• Retreat of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska between 2009 and 2015
• Blue ponds formed by meltwater in Alaska’s Columbia Glacier
• Retreat of the Bridge Glacier in Canada between 2009 and 2012
• Icebergs off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula
• Mont Blanc in the French Alps, where many glaciers are quickly receding
• Greenland “moulins,” when melting ice drains through the surface and into tunnels that release the water to the ocean
• Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland
• Grinnell Glacier in Montana’s Glacier National Park
• Mount Everest in Nepal
Artifacts on display include equipment and a customized camera that Balog and his team used on their expeditions, helping guests to understand the physical demands that he and his team encountered traveling to these remote destinations. Guests will also learn about the technological advances James and his team created to capture such compelling footage. Other items on display include protective insulated clothing, helmets and climbing equipment.
To further emphasize and illustrate the effects of climate change, guests can also:
• Touch and see a real 7-foot-tall ice wall, providing a physical connection to the footage in the exhibit
• Interact with maps showcasing the potential impact of coastal flooding around the world, from New York City to Shanghai, Copenhagen to London
• See how rising temperatures will affect Chicago
• Explore the work of other ice scientists throughout the world
• Discover how bold individuals are single-handedly making radical impacts
• Understand the part they can play in mitigating the effects of climate change
Extreme Ice opens March 23, 2017 and runs through early 2019. It is included in Museum Entry ($21.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids 3-11). Buy tickets online in advance at msichicago.org.
The Extreme Ice MSI exhibition team utilized a wide variety of scientific resources to inform its overall content as well as the specific information and visualizations displayed in the exhibition. MSI is grateful to the help of these universities, organizations and individuals for their insight. For a full list, please see separate documented list in the press kit.
Extreme Ice is presented by the Aunt Marlene Foundation with additional major support from the Malott Family Foundation. Other funding provided by Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Buchanan Family Foundation, Connie and Dennis Keller, and The Wareham/Elfman Family.