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R. Gates

Nice job Andy! The 3D animation and the music?! Now that's some talent!

Mary A Bein

I only wish every one in the US (world for that matter) could see this. Stunning and awesome in its sheer simplicity.

Andy Lee Robinson

Thanks very much!

I guess it's a synergy of all career and hobby skills I've developed over the last 30 years. My postgrad was in music IT, where I specialized in digital sampling and signal processing, and my career evolved through web designer/programmer to linux system administrator and db admin. Used all those skills too in the program used to create and distribute rendering tasks in the cluster.

The music actually came last - I'd collated the frames into an mp4 and needed something, so just sat at the piano, recorded whatever came up and just tweaked it a little to fit.

2 weeks programming and development.
1.5 days rendering 750 frames across 7 servers.
1/2 hour for music.

I pushed myself a bit more on this one - in case it had viral potential, building on what I'd learnt from the previous animations.

Thanks to Neven for posting.

Jim Williams

Just did my bit on the viral part. You'd think YouTube would have a G+ button.


Andy, so it is you we hear playing the piano? That shows many talents!

Andy Lee Robinson

Thanks guys!
Bosbas, yes, guilty as charged... :)

Hans Gunnstaddar

Best video I've seen yet animating ice volume loss. That really ought to be enough to convey the idea. Would be great if it went viral!

Dan P.

Absolutely top notch Andy. You really brought your talents together exceptionally and the work clearly paid off. I shared it and likewise hope it goes viral.

Chris Reynolds

Very good Andy.

Jim Hunt

Another excellent video Andy! I've taken the liberty of including it in my latest blog article, which I hope is OK with you?


Amongst other things I was idly wondering if you've started working on something similar for the Greenland Ice Sheet yet?

Andy Lee Robinson

Might need more cats or a nipple slip to help it go viral, but one can hope!

Thanks Jim, nice article, not much we can do to replace the arctic albedo - would take 100 million jumbo jets each carrying 22 million ping-pong balls, and one storm would cause chaos!
I'd buy shares in Mylar survival blanket manufacturers - glaciers will need protecting to ensure water supplies, but whichever way we look at it, adaptation would be far more challenging than prevention.



We are all indebted to your inspiration and talent. My only regret is that I did not have this Thursday for my last ethics class on climate change to illustrate Arctic ice volume loss. It is now linked for my fall course.

I have a couple of friends in US policy circles that are getting this. Also, it is being sent to my friends -- and enemies -- to help spread this as widely as possible.

It is a simple and powerful story.

BTW, the movie, Chasing Ice, was just shown at the White House this week to leading policy makers. The film's producers followed with an hour of Q&A.




For context, here is a 2008 NASA video on ice loss and an expectation that 2013 could have a virtually ice free period.


Andy Lee Robinson

Thanks A4R, I think you just made my day!

The message it conveys is stark, backed up with science and observation, and defeats hand-waving attempts.

I'm *still* looking forward to see Chasing Ice, Can't see it arriving in Budapest anytime soon though, perhaps one day!

Jim Hunt

Donna from the ASI forum has asked me to point out that Chasing Ice is available over there, albeit on a small screen:



My work coincides with this video presentation as well, but with no animation necessary, Sea ice drops horizon wise as it gets thinner and thinner. Was expecting a lower horizon with the North Pole cams, and it did not disappoint. This visualization provides an exact over all thickness better than any model or radarsat, especially with higher resolution optical equipment . http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/


An idea for a non-animated image.

Four 'ice cube' images, side by side, each representing one decade.


Excellent perspective!Hope you don't have to go to another octave.

Ghoti Of Lod


The other pole webcam image is also showing a lower horizon. Earlier archived photos show the horizon lined up with the top of the wind vane visible in the image. The last image shows the horizon clearly below the top of the wind vane.

On the other hand the buoys measuring ice thickness near the pole aren't showing any drop in ice thickness yet.

H Barnard

A great animation. It really captures the essence of what needs to be conveyed. I do hope it gets wide circulation


Thanks, Andy. It shows all too well what's going on. It'll be interesting to see the next frame added in September.


Excellent animation. This is powerful. Combine this animation with Jim Balog's glacier videos and I believe you have a knockout combination for which the skeptics would have no reply.





Thanks Ghoti! They both have to show the same thing, is essential and logical. The melting is well underway. Don't know about buoy technical method of measuring thickness. I know its melting because the thermal signature of a small sun elevation increase indicates a great release of long wave radiation culminating in the collapse of the surface to air interface inversion structure. Scuba divers from France described
the melting bottom as a fragile ice structure disintegrating at the touch. So in effect the over all ice thickness may be measured the same but bottom "soft" ice increases in height towards the surface. What you see here is the sea thermal signature creeping up gradually.


The full video Chasing Ice is now available on YouTube (73 minutes) --

National Geographic: Chasing Ice 720p


(Sorry -- first posted to the wrong thread)



Your video just went to the White House.

There is a major Arctic policy meeting this week on the scope of Arctic ice and ecosystem change and how to respond.

Thought it would add to the process, since they watched Chasing Ice last week.

Andy Lee Robinson

A4R thanks for the heads up...

All I did was creatively sweeten a bitter pill and show a handle on quantities involved, but I hope it aids digestion.

Will I need to hire another bodyguard now? :)


New video available at:


with PIOMAS data appearing after about 10 min.

Cheers P


Very nice video. I tried to show something similar last fall with the sea-ice area data, but I suspect the volume data are more telling.



Andy-mindblowing creation,many thanks,I will share with my open uni class.

Espen Olsen

Now we need an animation that shows how little importance extend / area has in relation to volume, hopefully it will be as simple and pedagogic as the "Ice cube animation"

Jim Hunt

Espen - Surely extent/area is still extremely important when it comes to calculating things such as "albedo feedback"?

Espen Olsen


You are probably aware of, extend/area is not of much interest when explaining the situation, and can easily be manipulated as we see every winter maximum, and we hear the classic "Recovery song", but you are right it has as much importance as almost anything else.

Andy Lee Robinson

Not all positive feedback is bad, thanks!

@P-maker: good presentation video, thanks

@TheWorldComplex - interesting graph! I could do evolving lines in 3D which would be fascinating. Clear that something has gone wrong, as if the executive-toy globe just keeled over... (Keelinged over?)

Jim, yes - the albedo is v important, and like oil on water, a little sea ice can go a long way. As volume approaches zero, area will collapse almost overnight and then we have a different planet, with a change visible from the vicinity of other stars.

Maintaining the albedo with ping-pong balls or Mylar film will be disappointing, so we are out of technical solutions, apart from the obvious.

Andy Lee Robinson

The results of the meeting have been published. They are aware of the 'profound' risks and consequences for the climate, but want to exploit the Arctic anyway:

National Strategy for the Arctic Region

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