'NOVA: Mystery Beneath The Ice'
(DVD / NR / 2016 / PBS)
Overview: Krill are tiny, shrimp-like creatures crucial to the Antarctic ecosystem and, maybe, to the future of all oceans. Join the research ship Polarstern in the vast Antarctic ice pack in search of ice caves and juvenile krill.
DVD Verdict: Ha! Sorry, but PBS just got me, so to speak! I totally fell for this title and believed it to be yet another documentary on the wretched iceberg that took down the mighty Titanic. So, please don't be fooled by the title and the ship on the front surrounded by ice as it is actually a sixty minute documentary on the death of one tiny creature that could eventually lead, possibly, to the decimation of the entire Antarctic ecosystem!
In 'NOVA: Mystery Beneath The Ice' we join the research ship Polarstern in the vast Antarctic ice pack in search of ice caves and aforementioned juvenile krill. Scientists test the theory that as climate change alters the ice pack, the life cycle of krill is disrupted, implying that shifts in the timing of the seasons may impact the natural world across the globe.
Tiny, transparent, and threatened, krill are crucial to the Antarctic ecosystem. But the population of krill is crashing for reasons that continue to baffle the experts. A leading theory says that krill’s life cycle is driven by an internal body clock that responds to the waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice pack, and as climate change alters the timing of the ice pack, their life cycle is disrupted.
So to test it, NOVA travels on the aforementioned Polarstern, a state-of-the-art research vessel, to the frigid ice pack in the dead of winter. From camps established on the ice, scientists dive beneath the surface in search of the ice caves that shelter juvenile krill during the winter. There, they hope to discover what’s causing the krill to vanish and, ultimately, how the shifting seasons caused by climate change could disrupt ecosystems around the world. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.