The polar ice caps contain the bulk of Earth's fresh water. Antarctica has the highest elevation of all continents and is the coldest place on Earth. Northern Polar Regions have less land mass than the south; scientist monitor ice melt.
Early explorers like Ernest Shackleton, Roald Emerson, and Capt. Robert Scott rely on primitive equipment. Modern explorers like Conrad Dickinson and Richard Webber rely on sophisticated equipment and increased regional knowledge; Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen abort their expedition.
Ice is melting at an increasing rate. Experts study melt lakes, polar bears, and the marine environment; Kangerlussuaq Glacier is rapidly moving. The European Space Agency launches a satellite to monitor changes in both polar ice caps.
Research shows a similar pattern in outlet glacier flow and the breaking up of coastal ice. Researchers study ice cores; air bubbles provide an accurate record of atmospheric composition. Scientists study ocean circulation.
Credits: Extreme Environs - ICE
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This video examines the role that the polar regions play in climate systems. It looks at landscape and temperatures and the effects of climate change in these regions. It traces the history of scientific exploration and presents evidence that points towards global warming. The video considers the collapse of arctic sea ice and diminishing ice flows and also visits Greenland to examine the reduction of ice sheets, the effects on wild life, glaciers movements, and how the collection of ice cores show the human impact.
Length: 24 minutes
Copyright date: ©2008
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