Antarctica's Climate Secrets

Expand/Collapse Antarctica's Climate Secrets

Is global warming melting Antarctic ice at an unprecedented rate? Will it raise sea levels, flooding the world's coastlines? NET Television and NOVA take you behind-the-scenes as science teams from the United States, New Zealand, Germany and Italy embark on an ambitious International Polar Year (IPY) expedition called ANDRILL. ANDRILL is an international research program conducting geological research in Antarctica by drilling rock cores from the past to project into future climate conditions on Earth. NOVA will follow ANDRILL scientists as they use a state-of-the-art drilling rig to probe deep beneath glacial ice to extract rock cores from the seabed to detect Antarctica's climate past. The documentary will examine how ANDRILL research will test two competing theories about how Antarctica's ice sheets have reacted to past episodes of global warming. The answers ANDRILL finds could be crucial to understanding our planet's future. This NOVA program is funded by the IPY program of the National Science Foundation.

  • Tiny Clues to Antarctica's Past

    ANDRILL's rock cores reveal evidence of changing climate and ice conditions in Antarctica's past. Within the cores are ocean fossils – some easily seen, others microscopic. Watch this video to learn how the biggest discoveries come from the tiny clues: diatoms and forams.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Reading Antarctica's Rock Cores

    Most of Antarctica's history is buried in layers of rock, deep beneath the ice. Rock cores that ANDRILL retrieves are packed with evidence. But once found, how do geologists read climate history embedded in rock? Watch the following video to find out.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Decoding Antarctica's Climate History

    What's normal in climate cycles? In a warming world, ice is beginning to break apart in Antarctica. Has it happened before - and how does it affect sea level? In this NET exclusive video, geologists and climate modelers examine ANDRILL cores, Earth's orbit, greenhouse gases, and evidence from the antarctic.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Antarctica's Ice on the Move

    Antarctica is the iciest place on Earth, but its icy cover is deceiving. All this ice is on the move. Find out how ice and rocks hold clues to Antarctica's climate past in this video.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Antarctica Today

    Take a trip to Earth's freezer - the coldest, windiest, driest, place on Earth. How long has Antarctica been like it is today? That's what polar researchers want to find out. Meet ANDRILL, the Antarctic drilling team in this video.

    Grades: 6-12