Terra Antarctica: Rediscovering the Seventh Continent

Released Fall 2009

The Antarctic affects all our lives through forces so deep and elemental that we’re not even aware of them. More than two decades ago scientists prophesied that one of the first signs of human-influenced climate change would be the collapse of the Antarctic Peninsula’s ice sheets. This is exactly what is happening today.

In March 2002 scientists watched the 500-billion-ton Larsen-B Ice Shelf shatter into thousands of tiny icebergs before their eyes. One year ago a 160-mile-square section broke off the Wilkins Ice Shelf. The dramatic changes suggest it is possible the rest of the Peninsula’s ice may deteriorate soon.

For three months, from November 2007 into February 2008 we explored the Antarctic Peninsula by sea kayak, sailboat, foot and small plane. It was a great adventure and what we discovered was revealing about the planet as a whole: Nations fighting over who owns what as the Peninsula’s ice slowly disappears; annual rains threatening penguin chicks; tourist boats running aground and sinking; all set among a spectacular, one-of-a-kind corner of our planet.