Introduction: The Permafrost of the High Arctic (02:02)
This brief overview of the dangers of melting permafrost orients viewers with excerpts from the upcoming program.
Toolik Research Center (03:12)
Bernice Notenboom travels with Dr. Ben Abbott to a permafrost cliff known as Stinky Bluffs. The Arctic Circle temperatures are increasing faster than any other geographic location.
Stinky Bluffs (02:51)
The cliffs of frozen soil and ice tell the history of the Earth. If the cliffs were to melt, centuries of carbon would be released into the atmosphere.
Permafrost Soil Samples (03:45)
Abbott collects 50,000-year-old soil and ice samples from Stinky Bluffs. Temperatures are increasing much more rapidly than ever before.
Permafrost Bore Holes (03:21)
To monitor permafrost melt rates, Professor Vladimir Romanovsky takes the underground temperature of the frozen tundra. Learn the potential tipping point of permafrost melt.
Alaska Permafrost Research Center (05:09)
Romanovsky and Notenboom explore an underground laboratory in Fairbanks, Alaska. The tunnel is twelve meters below the ground and about 40,000 years old.
Carbon in Permafrost (02:31)
Notenboom joins Kevin Schaefer on the Alaskan tundra to collect permafrost core samples. The samples will be tested for carbon levels.
Flawed Predictions (03:39)
Global warming predictions do not include the carbon dioxide that would be emitted into the atmosphere if permafrost melted. Schaefer attends a climate change convention.
Methane Release (04:50)
The permafrost that melts into lakes releases methane into the atmosphere instead of carbon dioxide. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (04:57)
Notenboom learns about the data that NASA collects in it's CARVE aircraft. An increase in the amount of methane released from permafrost could pose a serious threat to the global climate.
Barrow, Alaska (01:45)
Notenboom speaks with a local resident who explains the changes in animal migration as the global temperature gets warmer.
Point Barrow (03:43)
The polar sea ice is decreasing. The year 2007 seems to have been a tipping point for the ice.
Coastal Erosion (01:59)
The melting permafrost caused severe coastal erosion in Barrow, Alaska. A large portion of the town no longer exists.
Ice Cellars (03:42)
A resident shows Notenboom and Abbott her underground ice cellar used for meat storage. View coastal erosion from the ocean.
Point of No Return (02:17)
The arctic permafrost is melting faster than ever before. Review dangers of the situation and potential solutions to slow down the process.
Credits: The Permafrost of the High Arctic (00:40)
Credits: The Permafrost of the High Arctic
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