Chasing Ice Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Chasing Ice' is a 2012 documentary by director Jeff Orlowski that follows National Geographic photographer James Balog as he captures time-elapsed photos of shrinking glaciers. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this film.

Chasing Ice

Jeff Orlowski's Chasing Ice depicts climate change through James Balog's photojournalism; video confirms the disappearance of glaciers across three continents. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this documentary and explore the subject of climate change.


The following questions help students understand why Balog began the Extreme Ice Survey project.

  • What are some natural disasters that have been attributed to global warming? What are the arguments against climate change? How has Balog's opinion changed over time? Why?
  • How did Balog's background lead him to the Extreme Ice Survey? What does Balog mean when he says that the story is in the ice? Why do you think visual evidence is more effective than data?
  • What did Balog realize when he took pictures of the Solheim Glacier in Iceland six months apart? How did his project change based on this experiment?
  • Who are the people that join Balog's project? What challenges do they face? Why does the team feel such a sense of urgency? Why is it important to take a team approach to this type of endeavor?
  • How do scientists learn about atmospheric conditions and their changes over time? What have they discovered? What are the consequences if trends continue at the same pace?


These questions discuss the challenges and early findings of the project.

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