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Frozen Worlds: the cryosphere

This theme features the frozen worlds of the poles, featuring videos that tell us why we should care about Alaskan glaciers, share how important permafrost is, teach about different kinds of sea ice, let us explore under-ice wonders in Antarctica, and experience the hard work and beautiful scenery of polar fieldwork.

Each short film selected for the Frozen Worlds theme is listed below, but you can watch them all on the YouTube playlist. 

Featured longer film: 

Chasing Ice

Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In Chasing Ice, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.


Watch all of the short films on the Youtube and Vimeo playlists, or use the individual links below. The whole set lasts about  50 minutes. 

Short films: 

Glaciers - Why Should We Care?

Short film (2:10), general public

Mike Loso, National Park Service Physical Scientist, shares why he thinks people should care about shrinking glaciers in Alaska.

What Color is a Glacier?

Short film (3:18), general audience

It sounds like a simple question - what color is a glacier? This video, compiled from 6 field seasons around the Arctic and Antarctic, shows you just how complex that answer is, why it matters, and what I do as a researcher to help answer that question

Greenland: Fire and Ice

Short film (2:12), general public

A short film created from footage shot on location in southeast Greenland during a Swansea University Glaciology Group fieldwork campaign. Edited and produced by Pauline Evans and Bruce Rawlings - 196 Productions Ltd. Camera - Laurence Dyke.

The Big Thaw: Ground-Truthing Permafrost in Alaska

Short film (4:11), general audience

An international team of researchers led by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), part of CIRES, traveled to Toolik Lake on the North Slope of Alaska to study permafrost dynamics and change. The green tundra looks static, but underneath the surface, the permafrost, or frozen soil, is changing and responding to climate . Using a ground penetrating radar, the team worked to validate satellite observations. Because much of the Earth’s permafrost located in hard-to-reach regions, the need for good, validated satellite observations are key.

Arctic Oceanography from the Sky

Short clip (0:45), general audience

The Arctic Heat Open Science Project ( deployed a series of experimental floats and other instruments from a specially-outfitted NOAA Twin Otter aircraft in June 2016.

Standing on the Beaufort Sea

Short film (3:56), general audience

Andy Mahoney and Jeremy Kasper, UAF scientists demonstrate latest research into aspects of moving sea ice. New insights for scientists and the average person.

5 Incredible Ice Formations in Nature - Earth Unplugged

Short film (1:57), general audience

This film highlights a selection of the most breathtaking ice formations that have been found in nature. 

Flying to Antarctica

Short film (3:46), general audience

Footage from our flight over Antarctica, en route to McMurdo Station, prior to spending two months sampling Antarctica's productive waters.

The White Continent: Climate Change and Antarctica

Short film (4:48), general public

Antarctica is a continent of superlatives; the highest, the driest, the coldest, the most remote. This is the White Continent, a land of unending beauty and unrelenting extremes. It is harsh and unforgiving, yet tender and fragile

Icebreaking in Antarctica

Short film (8:10), general audience

Incredible imagery from an Antarctic voyage around the Southern Ocean, South Sandwich islands and Antarctica.

Twila Moon—Face to Face with Climate Change in Greenland

Video of a short presentation (5:28), general audience

Glaciologist Twila Moon talks about the impact of climage change on the Greenland ice sheet - both from a scientific perspective, and from the perspective of the people who live nearby. 

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