Founded in 2007 by James Balog, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. EIS imagery preserves a visual legacy, providing a unique baseline—useful in years, decades and even centuries to come—for revealing how climate change and other human activity impacts the planet. One aspect of EIS is a portfolio of single-frame photographs celebrating the beauty—the art and architecture—of ice.

The other aspect of EIS is time-lapse photography: currently, 27 cameras are deployed at 18 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalaya at Mount Everest, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. These cameras record changes in the glaciers every half hour of daylight year round, yielding approximately 8,500 frames per camera per year. We edit the time-lapse images into stunning videos that reveal how fast climate change is transforming large regions of the planet. Finally, EIS supplements the time-lapse record with episodic repeat photography in the French and Swiss Alps, Canada, Iceland and Bolivia.

The Extreme Ice Survey’s unique approach combines art and science, shaping public perception more effectively than either science or art can do alone. EIS has already utilized this imagery to impact well over 150 million people between 2007 and 2011.

Extreme Ice Survey is a project of Earth Vision Trust. EVT funds the work of James Balog and collaborators as they unearth unique visual evidence of our impact on air, water, forests and wildlife.

Learn more about the Extreme Ice Survey at