Antarctica lives in our dreams as the
most remote, the most forbidding, the coldest continent on Planet Earth.
Antarctica is a huge land – the United States and Europe could easily fit inside its borders – covered with ice as thick as three miles, seemingly invulnerable, frigid and dark nine months of the year.
Despite that well-earned reputation, Antarctica can also be a fragile place, home to an incredible variety of life along its edges, an important part of shaping the planet’s weather systems and climate. Join National Geographic explorer Jon Bowermaster as he and his team travel along the continent’s frozen coastline in ‘Antarctica, On The Edge’ to expose just how important, and at risk, is the seventh continent.
The adventurers explore by sea kayak, ice-worthy sailboat and on foot to gain an up-close look and attempt to better understand just how the seventh continent is changing – and in some parts changing very fast – in part due to a warming ocean. Meet scientists and the wildlife they study up-close and learn about the history of exploration and the continent’s future.
From its place anchoring the bottom of the globe, Antarctica might seem too frozen to have any impact on the rest of the planet. But the very fact that it is constantly changing – the sea around it freezing and thawing every year – turns it into the planet’s beating heart, its rhythm intimately influencing the earth’s weather, ocean currents and climate.
To produce the first 3D film shot at the bottom of the world – ‘Antarctica, On the Edge’ – National Geographic writer and filmmaker Jon Bowermaster took his team by sailboat from the tip of South America to the 900-mile long Peninsula that juts out of the continent like a long finger. Its edges warmed on both sides by the sea, the Peninsula is changing faster than anywhere on the planet. These changes impact its rich wildlife – penguins, seals, whales, sea birds – in ways we rarely consider.
For now, the resources that lie beneath all that ice – oil, gas, coal, precious minerals – are still buried. For now, the continent, its wildlife and resources are protected by an international treaty, good until 2041, and largely protected by all that ice and cold. But questions about how long those protections will last are rising. And the potential changes coming to Antarctica are guaranteed to impact the entire planet.
The best way to protect this frozen frontier is by appreciating its beauty and environmental wealth is by sharing it with audiences around the globe. Traveling with Bowermaster by sailboat and exploring the edges of the continent by sea kayak, small plane and foot offers a unique perspective on our planet’s most remote corner. Beautiful, one-of-a-kind, like nowhere else you’ve ever seen, once you’ve visited Antarctica it stays in your blood forever.
PRODUCED BY OCEANS 8 FILMS, GIANT SCREEN FILMS AND DQBD FILMS