Antarctica and climate change, new film


This 11 September 2015 video is called Ice and the Sky / La Glace et le ciel (2015) – Trailer (English subtitles).

On 14 November 2015, I saw Ice and the Sky, the new film by Luc Jacquet from France. Luc Jacquet became famous because of his Oscar-winning film The march of the penguins; about emperor penguins in Antarctica.

The new film is basically about Antarctica as well. However, not a single emperor penguin. A few Adélie penguins and gentoo penguins, appearing not for long. An albatross flying, for even shorter.

For the subject of Ice and the Sky is not wildlife in the Antarctic. It is ‘dead’ nature in the Antarctic: ice and snow; as studied by French glaciologist and climate scientist Claude Lorius. He went for the first time to Antarctica as a 23-year-old student in 1956, with the book The time machine by H.G. Wells in his luggage.

Probably, ‘dead’ ice will not attract as many people to cinemas as lively, though non-flying, birds. Which would be a pity, as Claude Lorius during over fifty years of Antarctic research discovered in ‘dead’ ice important things for animal, including human, life, on all of planet Earth.

Claude Lorius discovered that even in Antarctica, there was influence of human pollution, thousands of kilometers away. Nuclear bomb fallout was detectable in the polar continent’s snow.

Lorius was also a pioneer of studying ancient ice, thousands of meters under the surface and hundreds of thousands of years old. Studying this, Lorius found out that human CO2 pollution was causing climate change, threatening to melt masses of ice, leading to big flooding. Pseudo-scientists paid by Big Oil today still deny this truth.

The film shows the very harsh cold stormy conditions under which Lorius did his research. Sometimes, there are funny moments, like when an accordion player plays a song while riding on a snowmobile at Soviet research base Vostok in the 1980s. It reminded me of the accordion player which I heard recently on Vlieland island. I recognized one spot where I myself had been while in Antarctica: the whale skeleton at the abandoned Norwegian whaling station on Deception island.

This 11 June 2015 video is called Film “Ice and the Sky”. Marion Cotillard and Luc Jacquet at the official launch.

A critical review of this film is here.

Another review is here. And yet another one is here.

Biodiversity patterns in Antarctic Dry Valleys: here.

The complex fate of Antarctic species in the face of a changing climate: here.

17 thoughts on “Antarctica and climate change, new film

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