On June 22, 2006, Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) photos were taken of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, the first in a series documenting changes in the extent of glacial ice, year after year. The EIS is a large-scale study of glaciers using real-time photography. EIS uses time-lapse photography to show seasonal and multi-year changes in glacial ice in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, and the Rocky Mountains.
The time-lapse photography shows the natural process of glacial accumulation and ablation. Accumulation is when a glacier grows—usually in the winter, when snowfall and other precipitation build up (accumulate). Ablation is when a glacier retreats or shrinks—usually in the summer, due to icemelt. Long-term trends, including those documented by EIS, show that Earth’s glaciers are retreating more than they are growing.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry ablation Noun
removal of material from the surface of an object, including melting, evaporation, or erosion.
a buildup of something.
mass of ice that moves slowly over land.
Encyclopedic Entry: glacier precipitation Noun
all forms in which water falls to Earth from the atmosphere.
Encyclopedic Entry: precipitation time-lapse photography Noun
photographing of a slow and continuous process at regular intervals, for projection at a higher speed.