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Glacier Time Lapse Video Reveals 'Epochal Change' Captured By Extreme Ice Survey (VIDEO)

01/14/2012 01:24 pm ET | Updated Jan 14, 2012

Anyone with doubts about the legitimacy of climate change need only glance at James Balog's time lapse footage of Alaska's Columbia Glacier.

Captured between May 2007 and September 2011, by the photographer and his team, the stunning images show the the alarming rate at which the world is losing its precious glaciers.

Balog is the founder of the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging photographic study of glaciers ever conducted.

So far, the EIS team has installed 27 time lapse cameras at 15 sites in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and in the Rocky Mountains.

Once a climate change skeptic himself, Balog believes our actions are dangerously accelerating global warming.

"Shrinking glaciers are the canary in the global coal mine," Balog told the Idaho Press. "They are the most visible, tangible manifestations of climate change on the planet today."

On their website, the Extreme Ice Survey explains the effects of melting glaciers on the global climate.

The melting fresh water from glaciers alters the ocean, not only by directly contributing to the global sea level rise, but also because it pushes down the heavier salt water, thereby changing what scientists call the THC, or Thermo (heat) Haline (salt) Circulation, meaning currents in the ocean. This has an immediate effect on the near region, such as the north Atlantic off the coast of Greenland, but ultimately the impacts can ripple far beyond the immediate area and climate.

If you like James Balog's time lapse video, you won't want to miss "Chasing Ice", a film documenting the pioneering climate change work of Extreme Ice Survey, which will premiere Jan. 21 at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

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