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On thin ice - NRK

Production year: 2007 | 1*25 | Genres: Nature
This programme shows the importance of this ice to the animals whose home the melting Arctic is.
Origin country: Norway
Production company: NRK Norsk Rikskringkasting AS
Original title: On thin ice
Original language: Norwegian
Formats: SD

The Arctic sea ice is melting. This programme shows the importance of this ice to the animals whose home it is. We visit the Svalbard archipelago to explore a world that is in danger of disappearing for ever - a horrifying encounter with a future we ourselves have brought about.

The Arctic Ocean is covered by a thick carapace of ice. But the global climate is growing steadily warmer, and in the Arctic this process is proceeding twice as fast as in the world at large. Climatologists expect the Arctic to be completely icefree as early as the summer of 2050 if environmental toxins continue to be released into the atmosphere at the present rate.

A unique global ecological system, the sea ice is a platform on which a whole universe depends for its very existence. The species most dependent on this ice is the seal; without sea ice, the seal has nowhere to give birth or to rest. The polar bear spends most of its life on the ice, roaming over enormous distances in quest of seals, its main source of food.

What will happen when the ice disappears? In some parts of the Arctic major changes in the sea ice are already making themselves felt. Summer ice, for example, has receded by almost one-third in the last twenty-five years - and the animals for whom it is home are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the disappearance of their habitat.

This programme focuses mainly on the ice-dependent seals, which are key species in the Arctic, and also the first to suffer as the icy platform on which their lives depend melts away beneath them.

Still images

This program is featured in the following article(s):

Nordic World goes green (Mar 2011)

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