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Exploring Antarcticas Glaciers (with a PlayStation Controller) | Antarctic Extremes

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 Environmental   |   Geology   |   Science
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Beneath Antarcticas glaciers, a 12-foot-long robot named Icefin explores places neither boats nor divers can reach.
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Icefin is testing technologies designed for exploring Jupiters icy moon Europa. But before its successors go into space, this robot has a serious job on Earth: taking measurements from under a glacier so researchers like Georgia Tech astrobiologist Britney Schmidt can better understand how climate change is affecting Antarcticas vulnerable ice. NOVAs Caitlin Saks and Arlo Perez meet with Britney and her team of young scientists and engineers on the 8-mile-long Erebus Ice Tongue to discover how this robot is gathering data before its grandkids leave our planet.
Then, Britney, her team, and Icefin head to the Florida-sized Thwaites Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Thwaites is one of the most remote places on Earth, but this so-called Doomsday Glacier is on the front line of climate change. The thinning and melting of Thwaites already accounts for 4% of global sea level rise, and scientists fear the glacier may eventually collapse. Now, with the help of Icefin, scientists hope to better understand why Thwaites is melting so quickly todayand whether the glacier is at risk of accelerated melting in the near future.

To learn more about the Thwaites Glacier, check out this interactive by The World
https://interactive.pri.org/2019/05/antarctica/doomed-glacier-race.html

And to see more about this past seasons research expedition to Thwaites, check out PBS NewsHours report by Miles OBrien: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ782Nz2VHs&t=4s

Hosted by Caitlin Saks and Arlo Prez
Editor/Digital Associate Producer: Arlo Prez
Producer: Caitlin Saks
Field Director/Cinematographer: Zachary Fink
Executive Producer: Julia Cort
Coordinating Producer: Elizabeth Benjes
Project Director: Pamela Rosenstein
Production Assistance: Matthew Buckley, Emily Pattison, Sean Cuddihy
Director of Audience Development: Dante Graves
Senior Digital Producer: Ari Daniel
Audience Engagement Editor: Sukee Bennett
Outreach Manager: Gina Varamo
Special Thanks to Miles O'Brien, Eric Rignot, Michael Amundson
Special thanks to the United States Antarctic Program

Archival:
Aurora Basinski, Brad Herried / Polar Geospatial Center, British Antarctic Survey, Britney Schmidt, Carolyn Beeler / The World, David Holland, Dr. Blofeld, Edgeworks Studios, ERSDAC, Goddard Spaceflight Center, GSFC, JAROS, Jeremy Harbeck, Jesse Allen, JPL-Caltech, Luke Peek, METI, NASA, Nickolay Lamm, OIB, Paul Cziko / McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory, Pond5, Storyblocks, U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Music: APM

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.

Major funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, the George D. Smith Fund, and the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1713552. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

WGBH Educational Foundation 2020

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