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盡頭的冰(PBS NOVA Extreme Ice)

PBS紀錄片:盡頭的冰(PBS NOVA Extreme Ice)

由全球變暖而引發的海平面上升會帶來無法估量的災難。有模型預估到下一世紀海平面會上升1米,可能迫使從佛羅里到達孟加拉的數百萬人逃離家園,從而需要投資多達萬億美元在

編號:PBS第21部發行時間:2009年03月24日分辨率:720P

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盡頭的冰(PBS NOVA Extreme Ice)內容介紹

 由全球變暖而引發的海平面上升會帶來無法估量的災難。有模型預估到下一世紀海平面會上升1米,可能迫使從佛羅里到達孟加拉的數百萬人逃離家園,從而需要投資多達萬億美元在沿海的基礎設施上。但是近期發現在格陵蘭島和南極洲的冰川以前所未有的速度融化。是什么導致了這種驚人的加速,我們該怎樣才能知道那些巨大的冰川發生了如何的變化?  

在國家地理與新星的協作下,攝影記者詹姆斯和一個科學小組在北極的偏遠地區,阿拉斯加和阿爾卑斯山,部署延時攝影攝像機;要以一個獨特的攝影方式記錄冰川融化及其消融模式。他們冒著凜冽的暴風雪,爬上危險的陡峭,在那里放置并固定特制的攝像機。但愿這些攝像機能在零下的氣溫以及高達170英里風速的環境下正常工作。

TV Program Descriptio

Original PBS Broadcast Date: March 24, 2009

Remarkable time-lapse footage by one of the world's foremost nature photographers reveals massive glaciers and ice sheets splitting apart, collapsing, and disappearing at a rate that has more and more scientists alarmed. This NOVA-National Geographic Television special investigates the latest evidence of a radically warming planet.

"Extreme Ice" follows National Geographic-funded photojournalist James Balog to some of the most dangerous 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 braved treacherous terrain to site his cameras in ideal locations to record the unfolding frozen drama. (Watch an audio slide show with Balog's narration and striking images.)

The program charts the progress of Balog's Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the largest photographic study ever attempted of the cryosphere, the mantle of ice that covers large portions of the Earth and that plays a critical role in weather. The effort involves deploying 26 time-lapse cameras in alpine and arctic locations across the Northern Hemisphere and programming them to shoot a frame every daylight hour for three years.

As the program shows, the resulting time-lapse movies give breathtaking evidence of geology in action. Ominously, the proverbial glacial pace of large masses of ice is no longer as slow as it once was, due to the warming of the planet that is accelerating the break-up of these titanic structures, including the separation of a Rhode Island-sized piece of the Antarctic ice sheet in 2002. Scientists are overwhelmingly convinced that the temperature increase is tied to the rise in greenhouse-gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels.

A NOVA-Nat Geo film crew accompanies Balog to EIS locations around the world. In Alaska, Balog records the rapid retreat of the Columbia Glacier, one of the largest ocean-feeding glaciers in North America (see photo at right). Amazingly, the calving of such glaciers is so frequent that wetsuit-clad surfers sometimes paddle nearby, waiting for an avalanche of ice to generate massive waves for a wild ride. Later, in Iceland, Balog photographs exquisitely sculpted icebergs on the beach, the last stop in their natural journey from the interior out to sea.

Most dramatically of all, in Greenland the award-winning photographer explores a landscape as magnificent as the canyon country of Utah—except carved in solid ice. Lowering himself by rope into a giant hole in the ice sheet bored out by a torrent of meltwater, Balog finds himself in a world of surpassing beauty, scientific mystery, and maximum peril.

Among the scientists featured in "Extreme Ice" are Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University, along with Tad Pfeffer and Jim White, both of the University of Colorado at Boulder. (In Ask the Expert, White answers viewer questions about the big melt and its potential consequences worldwide.)

Richard Alley tells NOVA that the shrinking of glaciers has long been clear to anyone who lives near them. But "the ice sheets surprised us," he says. "We thought the little glaciers would melt when it got warmer and that the big ice sheets wouldn't do much. And all of a sudden the big ice sheets started rumbling faster ... and we said, whoa, that wasn't supposed to happen!"

No one knows what will happen next. The ultimate doomsday scenario—the melting of all the ice on Greenland and Antarctica and the subsequent raising of sea level by some 200 feet—seems out of the question anytime soon. (In our visual thought experiment, see some of the coastal areas around the world that would vanish if they did.)

But even the current consensus estimate of a three-foot sea-level rise in the next century would wreak havoc in coastal regions, displacing millions of people, from Florida to Bangladesh. The lesson is that the big melt-off now under way holds a potential for changes of far-reaching and as yet unknown extent. (Watch a series of video podcasts on the impact that arctic melting is already having on Yupik people living on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea.)

Note: Coinciding with the film's premiere is a companion book by James Balog, Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report, published by National Geographic and available at the PBS Shop.

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