Glacial Balance

Geschrieben von Filmmaker: Ethan Steinman


While the film does an excellent job portraying the science of climate change (in fact, the filmmaker, Ethan Steinman, invited a team of our researchers to review the film in autumn of 2012 for scientific authenticity), the standout feature is the country-by-country stories that provide a compelling human narrative of climate change impacts on communities. The film was the product of the filmmaker’s curiosity about mountain glaciers following the passage of legislation to protect Argentina’s glaciers when he resided in the country, his subsequent encounter with one of Byrd Polar’s researchers, Lonnie Thompson, in the mountains of Peru, and a dedication to sharing personal stories of people living with climate change.

Rather than present statistics and detailed diagrams, the film weaves interviews and field footage with scientists studying glaciers and explaining the impacts of climate change with cases from six countries along the Andes Mountains. Some of the cases are expected, such as the impact of climate change on agriculture, while others are surprising, such as the way that the last “iceman” of Ecuador has already been affected. The imagery is beautifully captured and includes both wide mountain vistas and close-up shots of the daily routines of scientists and Andes residents. There are many opportunities during the film to experience the immense scale of the mountains, and the film includes a descent into a glacier borehole that eventually gives way to a split-screen showing activity within the borehole simultaneous with events happening at the surface. Our center was impressed by this footage alone.


During the screening, multiple audience members commented on how well the film communicated difficult scientific concepts in understandable language. This is impressive as the film has no narrator but rather skillful edits of long-form interviews with scientists and residents. We were fortunate to see this process explained during a workshop that the filmmaker held the day following the screening. If you are interested in showing the film, purchasing an educational copy of the film (which the filmmaker is offering on a sliding scale), or learning more, information is available at


We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors, we have only borrowed it from our children. - Ancient Proverb


Jason Cervenec Education & Outreach Coordinator

Byrd Polar Research Center

135A Scott Hall | 1090 Carmack Road Columbus, OH 43210

614-688-0080 Office | 614-292-4697 Fax

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Kommentare: 1
  • #1

    wltesten (Sonntag, 12 Januar 2014 20:30)

    Das is ja toll!!