December 27, 2011

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Extreme Ice

December 28 at 9 pm ET on PBS
Follow photojournalist James Balog to some of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth as he documents the disappearance of an icy landscape that took thousands of years to form. An artist, scientist, explorer, and former mountain guide, Balog braves treacherous terrain to site his cameras in ideal locations to record the unfolding drama. 
Remarkable time-lapse footage reveals massive glaciers and ice sheets splitting apart, collapsing, and disappearing at a rate that has scientists alarmed. This NOVA-National Geographic Television special investigates some of the latest evidence of a radically warming planet.  
Secrets Beneath the Ice
Wednesday, December 28 at 10 pm ET/PT on PBS
 
Almost three miles of ice buries most of Antarctica, cloaking a continent half again as large as the United States. But when an Antarctic ice shelf the size of Manhattan collapsed in less than a month in 2002, it shocked scientists and raised the alarming possibility that Antarctica may be headed for a meltdown.
Even a 10 percent loss of Antarctica’s ice would cause catastrophic flooding of coastal cities unlike any seen before in human history. What are the chances of a widespread melt? “Secrets Beneath the Ice” explores whether Antarctica’s climate past can offer clues to what may happen.
NOVA follows Andrill,  a state-of-the-art expedition that is drilling three-quarters of a mile into the Antarctic seafloor. The drill is recovering rock cores that reveal intimate details of climate and fauna from a time in the distant past when the Earth was just a few degrees warmer than it is today. As researchers grapple with the harshest conditions on the planet, they discover astonishing new clues about Antarctica’s past.
 
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