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A Glacier Disappears in Alaska

Dec 18, 2017 | 831 videos
Video by Raphael Rogers

For many people around the world, glacial retreat is an abstract concept—one that exists in photographs and in scientists’ bleak forewarnings of the consequences of ice loss. But filmmakers Raphael Rogers and Paul Rennick got to see it all firsthand.

Rogers and Rennick were driving through the back roads of Alaska when they saw a sign for Exit Glacier. Inside the park, it was completely deserted. “Paul said to me, ‘We should film this,’” Rogers told The Atlantic. “Of course, being ready to grab a story at any moment is what filmmaking is all about.”

Eventually, the pair encountered Rick Brown, the park’s attendant, who offered to show them around. “It was eye-opening,” said Rogers. The resulting film, Glacier Exit, features stunning aerial footage of the Exit Glacier area in Kenai Fjords National Park. According to Brown, the ice in the park has historically retreated up to 150 feet per year; recently, however, it has been recorded as retreating as much as 10 to 15 feet per day.

“I have four daughters and a bunch of grandkids,” says Brown in the film. “As I sit here and talk about this, I wonder what they will see. That’s my concern—for the future. Wondering how this climate thing is going to work out for them.”

This film was edited by Kristin Gerhart.

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Author: Emily Buder

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.