Climate change is the subject of the week it seems, and our visits around Chicago museums last week concluded with a ride to the Museum of Science & Industry on Chicago’s south side. I have to admit, it has been a while since I’ve visited and I must say that I found myself needing to go back. Soon. Anyhow, MSI (that’s what us cool Chicago natives call it) is home to Extreme Ice and will be on site until early 2019.
We were lucky enough to be in the space at the same time as James Balog, and he and the ladybug enjoyed chatting global warming, and where his adventures took him. She then informed him of all of the places that we had visited and all of the places that we may have noticed proof of climate change taking place. Here she’s telling him about our visit to North Dakota last year.
Through stunning photography and time-lapse videography, guests witness how climate change is causing dramatic glacier melt, and discover how people around the world can make a difference.
There is an ice wall in the exhibit that showcases how heat really does melt glaciers away with very little energy. The kids enjoyed seeing how long they could hold their hands on it. There were teens in the exhibit were a little bit more hardcore, and some had their handprints emblazoned on the glacier about a quarter inch deep.
The images featured in Extreme Ice were captured over a multi-year period by photographer James Balog. Using precisely engineered time-lapse cameras, Balog and his team documented 24 glaciers from around the globe. Scenes depicted in the exhibit include the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland, the Columbia Glacier in Alaska, Grinnell Glacier in Montana’s Glacier National Park, Mount Everest in Nepal, and many more.
In addition to photography and videos, equipment and a customized camera that Balog and his team used on their expeditions will be on display, helping guests understand the physical demands that Balog and his team endured traveling to these remote destinations. Hands-on interactive elements include a 7-foot ice wall that guests can touch.
Balog and his team were featured in the Emmy award–winning documentary “Chasing Ice” and in the 2009 PBS/NOVA special “Extreme Ice.”
When you do enter the exhibit, there is a short film to watch, and then you’re swept into beautiful photography that happens to be a bit sad at the same time. Seeing massive glaciers in their glory, giving way to just rock after six years is a sobering realization. I suggest that everyone visit this exhibit, and take someone with you. Our planet depends on it.
Museum Of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
Hours: 9:30 – 5:30pm
Adult – $18 ($16 online)
Child (ages 3-11) – $11 ($9 online)