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21-Aug-2020 23:19

As scientists try to figure it out, Balog is finding evidence to help answer some of these questions.

His Extreme Ice Survey is the largest photographic study of the cryosphere ever attempted.

Pfeffer and his colleague, Shad O'Neel, are taking its vital signs, measuring the speed of the glacier over several years to determine whether it's speeding up or slowing down.

To do this, they fire a laser survey gun at reflective targets that they must deploy on the surface of the ice.

(Program not available for streaming.) Follow photojournalist James Balog to some of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth as he documents the disappearance of an icy landscape that took thousands of years to form.

Although calving is normal, the Columbia is hemorrhaging ice so quickly that in the last 30 years the glacier has receded 10 miles up the fjord.In the early 1980s, the Columbia started flowing faster and began calving far more ice into the ocean than was being replenished by snowfall upstream.Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey glaciologists are trying to figure out how much ice the Columbia is losing and whether or not it can survive.As the pilot hovers a few inches above the glacier, O'Neel positions the target onto the ice.Pfeffer locks onto the target and shoots a laser that reflects back to the stationary gun, recording the position. By tracking its movement with the laser, over several days, they will be able to calculate the speed of the Columbia.

Although calving is normal, the Columbia is hemorrhaging ice so quickly that in the last 30 years the glacier has receded 10 miles up the fjord.In the early 1980s, the Columbia started flowing faster and began calving far more ice into the ocean than was being replenished by snowfall upstream.Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey glaciologists are trying to figure out how much ice the Columbia is losing and whether or not it can survive.As the pilot hovers a few inches above the glacier, O'Neel positions the target onto the ice.Pfeffer locks onto the target and shoots a laser that reflects back to the stationary gun, recording the position. By tracking its movement with the laser, over several days, they will be able to calculate the speed of the Columbia.It is rapidly-calving glaciers, like these, that are the main contributors to rising sea levels.