It’s a modern day adventure unlike any other: sail to the top of the word, freeze yourself in ice, and drift for more than 500 days. The mission? To find out why many say the arctic is warming at an alarming rate. On April 26 at 10 p.m. ET, MSNBC premieres Journey to the End of the World, the first in a new four-part green series entitled Future Earth that will run throughout 2009.
Journey to the End of the World intertwines two stories. The first is a modern-day Indiana Jones adventure that takes a small band of scientists to the North Pole in the dead of winter. The trip was called the TARA Expedition. In 2006, the polar sailboat, TARA, a multi-ton high tech marvel, let itself be caught in the ice packs of the Arctic Ocean. First, floating with and against the movements of massive ice sheets, swatted like a ping-pong ball, and finally frozen solid in millions of square miles of ice, one hundred miles off the magnetic north pole.
Their mission is to find out how fast the Arctic North Pole, the ground zero of global warming, is melting. Because the faster it melts, the more powerful the climate change it will cause and the sooner it all begins to happen. The scientists on the TARA must record in real time the critical data on sea ice thickness and air and water temperatures to help determine how and why the Arctic is melting, and more importantly, the effect it will have on the Earth. The result of an Arctic melt could be disastrous.
The discoveries of the TARA Expedition, both revolutionary and alarming, set the second part of the film in motion. To illustrate the chain reaction that will result from Arctic melting, the film uses state-of-the-art CGI (computer generated images) to show how rising sea levels will impact cities from New York to Shanghai, including fish eye views of Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty. There are also additional CGI sequences depicting the world at the height of the last ice age 20,000 years ago when 1/3 of the planet was an ice ball.
Lester Holt, anchor, NBC Nightly News, and co-anchor, TODAY, narrates Journey to the End of the World. The documentary is available for purchase on DVD, along with many other Green Is Universal items online.
The other three Future Earth programs will air in the summer and fall, dealing with key issues threatening our global future, from energy to our diminishing water supply to species extinction.
Watch the trailer here: