Still from "earthrise" episode "Food for Thought"
S1 E14: Antarctic Sanctuary

Antarctic Sanctuary

For centuries, mankind has been hooked on the concept of a mysterious continent at the end of the world. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it "the unknown southern land" and a century ago, Captain Robert Falcon Scott paid the ultimate price on his famous South Pole expedition.

Antarctica, the planet's southernmost continent, is home to spectacular biodiversity — from emperor penguins and blue whales to krill. But climate change, oil drilling and an ever-expanding commercial fishing industry are threatening this undisturbed land and its iconic creatures.

Greenpeace has been campaigning for the creation of a massive ocean sanctuary in the remote Weddell Sea. The marine reserve would cover 1.8 million square kilometers and would be protected from direct human impacts like fishing and deep-sea mining. 

"Scientists are saying we need to protect a third of the world's oceans, at least. If we want to let fish stocks recover, if we want to mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change, then Antarctica is a great place to start," says Will McCallum, head of oceans at Greenpeace U.K., who leads the Weddell Sea petition — one of the most significant campaigns in the environmental organizations' history. 

In October 2018 the 36 governments responsible for the conservation of Antarctic waters met in Australia to make a final decision on the protected area. 

"earthrise" joins Greenpeace's expedition to the Weddell Sea, as a team of scientists, ocean photographers and ocean experts set out to gather sufficient evidence to ensure that the proposal is carried through and that international support is garnered. Later, we meet up with them again in Australia to see whether the bid to create one of the largest ocean sanctuaries in the world has been successful.

Available until
2019-08-14T00:00:00-07:00

Airdates

  • 2020-04-09T18:00:00-07:00
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Upcoming Airdates

Land: Gaining Ground

The survival of people and wildlife depends on the health of the land. The economic prosperity of a country is linked to the richness of its resources. But our demand for these is destroying the land and all it harbors.

Our consumption of the earth's natural reserves has doubled in the last 30 years. Now, a third of the planet's land is severely degraded. Each year, we lose 15 billion trees and 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil. And at least 10,000 species go extinct every year.

Coping with Extremes

"earthrise" travels to southern Kenya and to Myanmar to see how the locals in these areas are coping with extreme weather.

  • 2020-04-02T18:00:00-07:00
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Air: Changing the Atmosphere

Every year seven million people die from air pollution. It's the world's biggest environmental killer.

Italy is Europe's most polluted country: in 2012, more than 84,000 people in the country died prematurely owing to bad air quality. To combat this, scientists have developed a new type of photocatalytic cement that absorbs pollutants and turns them into harmless salts. 

Antarctic Sanctuary

For centuries, mankind has been hooked on the concept of a mysterious continent at the end of the world. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it "the unknown southern land" and a century ago, Captain Robert Falcon Scott paid the ultimate price on his famous South Pole expedition.

Antarctica, the planet's southernmost continent, is home to spectacular biodiversity — from emperor penguins and blue whales to krill. But climate change, oil drilling and an ever-expanding commercial fishing industry are threatening this undisturbed land and its iconic creatures.

  • 2020-04-09T18:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

Food: Farming for the Future

Climate change has disrupted weather patterns across the globe, destroying farmland and increasing pest outbreaks. As a result, both the livelihoods of farmers and food supplies have been pushed to breaking point.

"earthrise" sets off to South Africa and Nepal to see how some newly developed solutions are helping farmers to produce food for a growing population as conditions change.

Human-Wildlife Conflict: Learning to Live Together

A look at how locals are finding ways to coexist with their animal neighbours in Australia and Bangladesh.

  • 2020-04-16T18:00:00-07:00
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Winds of Change

A look at how communities in India and Denmark have adjusted their way of living, turning it into a greener alternative.

In Denmark, see how a 100%-renewable community on Samso Island is investing in its own green society. In India, a new method of cremation is helping Hindu tradition become more environmentally friendly.

Antarctica on the Edge

Antarctica, one of the most remote and desolate locations on Earth also functions as one of the world's main cooling systems. However, after decades of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, parts of the continent are now warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. 

Over the years, climate change has led to increased erosion of the continent, altered ocean currents and affected wildlife. Warmer currents are now flowing further south, towards the icy terrain, contributing to glacial melt, rising sea levels and drastically changing habitats.

  • 2020-04-23T18:00:00-07:00
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Fighting Insectageddon: Why Bugs Matter

"earthrise" travels to the U.K. and New Zealand to meet the scientists trying to stop the decline of insect populations.