Antarctica – End of the Earth

Antarctica – End of the Earth
14 Sep
2017
New documentary travels to remote Antarctica to unpack the complex science behind climate change

‘It wasn’t anywhere near as cold as it was supposed to be, which I guess is, sadly, a side-effect of climate change,’ says Dawn Kelly, director of the HuffPost documentary Antarctica: End of the Earth. ‘I was quite surprised at how warm it was.’

Climate change is so huge and overwhelming, with so many aspects to consider, that it can often feel impossible for non-scientists to know how to engage or respond to it – let alone how to fully understand it. It can be alienating when experts use recondite terminology that excludes ordinary people from the discussion.

With all this in mind, Kelly and fellow HuffPost staffer Lucy Sherriff found themselves on the ship the Ocean Endeavour earlier this year, heading south towards Antarctica, so that they could create a film about climate change that asked the deep questions they’d always wanted to ask. ‘It was incredible!’ enthuses Kelly. ‘It’s the most beautiful backdrop I’ve ever had the pleasure to film on, and probably ever will. Absolutely stunning. Pictures and film just don’t do it justice.’

Instead of pretending to know all the answers, the pair spent two weeks exploring the subject of climate change by talking to the various glaciologists, climatologists, and polar explorers – as well as individuals from around the world with their own personal experiences of climate change to share – aboard this research vessel. All were part of Expedition 2041, an international endeavour created by explorer Robert Swan to take people from around the world down to Antarctica, so they can see for themselves the impact climate change is having on this remote part of the world.

‘We thought that going somewhere visually stunning like Antarctica, with the right people, on the right type of expedition, talking about climate change and seeing it would be a good way to bring that story to people who might find the topic is overwhelming,’ continues Kelly. ‘If we could go on a ship full of young people who are enthusiastic about climate change and try and tell its story in the way that they would tell it to their friends and on social media, then we might resonate with our younger audience that perhaps do care about climate change, but think it’s an overwhelming topic and don’t know where to start with it.’

zodiac and boatWith fellow polar adventurers, en route to Antarctica (Image: HuffPost)

The full documentary is viewable above, and can also be watched in shorter, bitesize chunks, under the themes ‘Why so political?’, ‘Here comes the science’, ‘Climate refugees’, ‘Life in Antarctica’ and, finally, ‘Whose job is it anyway?’ With neither Kelly, nor fellow expeditionary presenter/producer Lucy Sherriff, self-identifying as science journalists, they instead embraced their non-scientist role, and focused on asking the straightforward questions they simply didn’t know the answers to.

‘I really wanted to produce Lucy in a way that she didn’t go there with loads of knowledge, and knowing all the answers,’ explains Kelly. ‘It’s really a quest for her to find out the answers from the experts on the ship, and then take the information and really try to break it down, so that it wasn’t an exclusive conversation for people who have PhDs in glaciers. We approached it using our lack of knowledge as a starting point to find out more and bring that to an audience in a way that hopefully would resonate with them.’

‘What we wanted to do was make a documentary about climate change which really highlighted that it affects people and it isn’t just statistics and numbers,’ she adds. ‘It’s the people that we should be focusing on, and that’s what we tried to do. We met people on the ship that were from all over the world and tried to get their experiences of how climate change is affecting them now back home. We wanted to get across that it’s actually happening now, and we need to find out what solutions are there so we can attack the problem now.’

red line

NEVER MISS A STORY

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our free weekly newsletter!

red line

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Related items

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Air That We Breathe
    Cities the world over are struggling to improve air quality as scandals surrounding diesel car emissions come to light and the huge health costs of po...
    Diabetes: The World at Risk
    Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physi...
    National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    The Nuclear Power Struggle
    The UK appears to be embracing nuclear, a huge U-turn on government policy from just two years ago. Yet this seems to be going against the grain globa...
    When the wind blows
    With 1,200 wind turbines due to be built in the UK this year, Mark Rowe explores the continuing controversy surrounding wind power and discusses the e...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Geophoto

Iceland is a sparsely populated country with one of the…

Wildlife

Baltic seals and fish-eating bird populations are increasing and could…

Oceans

The UN has committed to completely stopping plastic waste from…

Wildlife

The world’s most endangered marine mammal has just been thrown…

Climate

Sixty-two of the natural World Heritage Sites are now at…

Oceans

In February 2015, maritime lawyer and cold water swimmer Lewis…

Climate

Water, water may be everywhere, but as Marco Magrini discovers,…

Energy

A deeper look at Scotland’s recent decision to ban the…

Climate

The discovery of increasing levels of ozone-depleting compounds being emitted…

Geophoto

November is a dark, quiet month, but it also marks…

Energy

Could human waste one day be fuelling our homes and…

Geophoto

Every year, the LPOTY awards celebrate the best in Britain’s…

Climate

At the 23rd Convention of the Parties (COP) climate change…

Oceans

Knowing where past coral reefs existed is a crucial component…

Oceans

Numerous low-lying Pacific islands have disappeared under rising seas

Oceans

In this exclusive film for Geographical, see how an unusually…

Climate

Marco Magrini considers why the recent devastation caused by hurricanes…

Geophoto

Country borders are some of the most controlled environments on…

Wildlife

Nature reserves and protected areas in Germany have lost 76…

Oceans

An investigation into shark fins and ray gills sold in…