Thin Ice
The Inside Story of Climate Science

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Thin Ice
'Thin Ice' is part of a series of films from Green Planet Films. In recent years climate science has come under increasing attack, so concerned geologist Simon Lamb grabbed his…
A Slice of Antarctic Snow – Nancy Bertler
Nancy Bertler and team dig a 4-m-deep snow pit for sampling layers of snow that represent the last 40 years or so. This is how they link modern instrumental observations…
Analysing an Ice Core – Nancy Bertler
Nancy introduces us to an ice core facility and shows how ice cores are sampled centimetre by centimetre for chemical and isotopic analyses for past temperature, wind, sea ice extent,…
Shrinking Tropical Glaciers – Lonnie Thompson
Lonnie describes his life's mission to retrieve the climate record in tropical glaciers from the world's highest mountains before they melt.
The Polar Plateau 1 – Getting There
Dan Dixon, PhD student, describes his first flight in to join Paul Mayewski's team at the start of their 800 km over-snow ice-coring traverse from the head of the Byrd…
The Polar Plateau 2 – Travelling Across the Ice
Paul and Dan talk about the challenges of a 3 month over-snow traverse for both vehicles and people at elevations at times exceeding 3000 m and temperatures below -30oC.
The Polar Plateau 3 – Coring for Climate History
Paul and Dan explain the drilling process for recovering ice cores. At each station they core down ~200 m, recording climate back ~1000 years. Laboratory results indicate climate here is…
Ice Age Cycles, Temperature and CO2 – Tim Naish
Deep cores into ice sheets have revealed an amazing record of Earth's glacial cycles every 100,000 years. Tim explains how the melt is triggered by changes in Earth's orbit but…
Measuring CO2 at Baring Head – Katja Reidel Martin Manning
Katja and Martin talk about how the levels of CO2 and oxygen in the atmosphere are routinely measured at the Baring Head clean air monitoring station. In New Zealand. CO2…
How CO2 Traps sun’s warmth – Neil Bowles / Hugh Mortimer
Neil and Hugh explain how the absorption of heat by greenhouse gases such as CO2 and water can be measured with a spectrometer.
How CO2 Warms Our Climate – Myles Allen
Myles explains how the absorption of infrared radiation by the Earth and its atmosphere warms the Earth, and hence how rising CO2 levels increase average global temperature.
How CO2 Warms the Climate – Ray Pierrehumbert
Ray explains how higher levels of gases like CO2 warm the Earth's surface by creating a thicker atmospheric blanket.
Taking the Temperature – Myles Allen and Phil Jones
It is measured daily around the world, but as Myles notes it's the long term temperature trends that are important. Phil discusses the historical record from weather stations world-wide, and…
Factors Besides CO2 – Myles Allen and Wally Broecker
Myles and Wally explain how the response of Earth's climate to rising levels of greenhouse gases can be modified by other factors. For example, atmospheric dust particles, water vapour and…
Life in the Arctic – Sami View
The Sami in Finnmark still live close to the land and they have noticed significant changes in the climate in their lifetime. Here are some of their observations.
Southern Ocean Voyage 1 - Heading Out to Sea
Lionel and Mike reflect on both the excitement and challenges in going to sea. They also talk about the main goals of their work, along with James Rae.
Southern Ocean Voyage 2 – On Station
Lionel and Liz explain the CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) instrument with bottles attached for collecting water at various depths. Niki shows us the temperature profile after the CTD is hauled up.
Southern Ocean Voyage 3 – Oceans and Climate
James and Lionel explain in a simple way what drives ocean circulation. Craig and Mike make some key points on ocean heat capacity and how it influences the pace of…
Southern Ocean Voyage 4 – Thermohaline Circulation
Wally and Lionel talk about the density-driven Thermohaline Circulation, and Craig introduces us to Antarctic sea ice, which helps drive it. Anders links the THC to changes in climate.
Southern Ocean Voyage 5 – Taking the Pulse
Scott and Craig describe the recovery and redeployment of a mooring left in the ocean to record temperature, salinity and currents at various depths through time. Lionel and Mike reflect…
Southern Ocean Voyage 6 – Oceans and CO2
Lionel and James explain how CO2 is taken up by the oceans. Lisa Northcote filters surface water to measure CO2 uptake by biota. Scott shows a coring operation to measure…
Southern Ocean Voyage 7 – Forests of the Ocean
Ros talks about her UK work showing the importance of abundant microscopic marine plants in the surface waters of the ocean taking up atmospheric CO2 and giving off oxygen like…
Southern Ocean Voyage 8 – Out of our Comfort Zone
Lionel talks about the natural climate cycles of the past he's seen in deep ocean cores back to 33 million years. He and James explain their discomfort at CO2 levels…
What Past Climates Say About CO2 and Warming – Matt Huber
Matt Huber explains how the link between CO2 and past climates is a key factor to assessing future global warming.
Geological Record of Past Warmer Climates – Martin Brasier
Martin Brasier shows the types of fossils that characterised Earth in warmer climates of the past.
Beneath the Sea Floor 1 – The ANDRILL Operation
Alex explains how they drilled almost 1000 m through floating ice and ocean and another 1000+ metres into the sea floor to sample its sediments. Co-chief scientists Tim and David…
Beneath the Sea Floor 2 – View a Freshly Drilled Core
We see the newly drilled core carried into the lab, and analysed for a range of chemical and physical properties. We also share the excitement as the scientists get a…
Beneath the Sea Floor 3 – Past Warm Periods and Melting Ice Sheets
Tim explains what they have discovered - layers of diatomite beneath the sea floor recording periods between 2 and 5 million years ago when Earth's climate was only slightly warmer.…
Life in Coastal Antarctica – Katie Dugger and Brian Karl
The Adelie penguin colony at Cape Bird, Antarctica, is doing well. However, as Brian and Katie explain, if the sea ice goes the way of ice around the Antarctic Peninsula,…
Views on Business-as-Usual – Matt Huber, Myles Allen, Tim Naish
Matt, Myles, and Tim paint a picture of our future, in the next 100 years or so, if we make no effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions - the…
Implications from Rising CO2 Levels – Stefan Rahmstorf
Stefan discusses why we should be concerned about rising atmospheric CO2 levels and their consequences for climate and sea level change.
View on Temperature Rise – Malte Meinhausen
Malte explains how future warming can be projected from rising CO2 emissions. Modelling suggests we have to keep total CO2 emissions below about a trillion tonnes for a good chance…
Trapping and Storing CO2 – Martin Blunt and Daniel Koseli
Martin in London and Daniel in Germany explain technologies for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning power stations by trapping, liquifying and storing it deep underground. For…
Climate Change as Seen by UN Negotiators and Scientists
UN negotiators struggle to seek a global agreement for reducing global CO2 emissions to stabilise atmospheric CO2 level and keep global temperatures below 2degC. Climate scientists explain why this is…
Inside the IPCC - Martin Manning
Martin Manning talks about his role as head of the Support Team for the IPCC Working Group I (Science of Climate Change), and some of the conclusions in the IPCC…
Changing Attitudes Over the Last 100 years – Sir Lloyd Geering
Sir Lloyd Geering is New Zealand's foremost religious thinker. He talks about changing attitudes in recent times. They should make it easier for us to deal with climate change, but…
A Warming Planet and the Legacy Issues – Myles Allen
Myles explains in a nutshell how we know rising CO2 emissions are warming the earth, and why he would like us to deal with the issue now.
Being a Scientist – Personal Thoughts
Dave Harwood defines science, Nancy Bertler and Ros Rickaby talk about what turned them on to it, Wally Broecker says what's important for him, Liz Sikes explains why she enjoys…
Drilling Beaneath the Ice in the Antarctic
Tim Naish explains how drilling into the rocks beneath the ice in the Ross Sea area has revealed an extraordinary record of Antarctica when the Earth was warmer, a few…
Exploring the Ocean
Scientists aboard the NZ Research Vessel Tangaroa talk about the realities of scientific research on the high seas, as they make measurements of temperature, salinity, carbon dioxide, sediment and living…
Measuring CO2 in the atmosphere
Katja Riedel talks about how the levels of CO2 and oxygen in the atmosphere are routinely measured at the Baring Head clean air monitoring station in New Zealand.

Comments (1)

David avatar
David

Over the past twenty years I have made several films about climate change because I believe it is the single biggest threat that faces our world. In "Thin Ice", Simon and I decided to focus not only on the science but also the scientists--brilliant and dedicated people who were a pleasure to ...Read more

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