Antarctica, the coldest continent on earth, a fragile ecosystem that were only just beginning to understand his climate change, threatening the penguin colonies. Here, some of the species don’t exist anywhere else if they disappear.
That’ll, be that how is global warming changing the face of an Arctic ax and the lives of its inhabitants in this far-flung part of the world is being affected by climate change. Scientists here are searching for solutions to one of the greatest environmental threats of our time.
To do that, they’re, prepared to forego natural light for months on end SMS. Seeing the Sun again was amazing. Everyone went out to take a look [ Music ] for this report. We traveled to Germany southernmost scientific research facility.
We’re, taking a direct flight from Cape Town, South Africa to Antarctica there’s just time for a quick farewell photo. Then we board a russian-built transport aircraft along with scientists and technicians from 10 different countries.
Technician: Holga Schubert is heading for the NOI Maya research station, though hardly a newcomer is looking forward to the visit. You can see the normal station when we fly over the bay and the icebergs it’s.
All fantastic. I’ve, been doing this for 19 years now, so it’s, a bit like coming home, olga and the rest of the passengers change into their cold-weather gear. The planes Russian crew took off from an asphalt runway.
Now they’re, getting ready to land on a sheet of ice, [, Music, ], a religious icon just to be on the safe side. The landing is perfect. [, Music, ] Varga and the other German experts had originally planned to travel straight on to the NOI Maya station about 700 kilometres away, but they’ll have to wait.
We’ll, unload the equipment, check everything and then stay here for a few days, so you can’t go now. No, the weather at Norma is really bad. We can’t, get there. It’s, not exactly clear how long they’ll, be stuck here.
Leonid vasilenko is driving the new arrivals to a Russian research station called novolazarevskaya. It’s, also known as the oasis. The station opened in 1961 relics from the early days of Antarctic research.
The Russian station is located on one of the few parts of Antarctica not completely covered with ice inside it’s, pretty cozy. You can also watch Russian state TV. The station staff are happy to welcome stranded guests.
Leonid vasilenko has spent most of his adult life working in the Arctic and Antarctic. Back in the 1980s I had to spend the winter. At the North Pole. My wife was pregnant at the time my daughter was born.
While I was away, I held her in my arms for the first time when she was 8 months old. The Antarctic contains about 90 % of the Earth’s, supply of freshwater. Much of it in the form of glaciers, Antarctica also has the world’s.
Coldest climate, [, Music ], one of the russians take some of the german visitors to visit a beautiful ice cave [, Music ]. The only way to get inside is to crawl on all fours. The icy are thousands of years old.
This part of the white continent appears blue [, Music. ] temperatures can, on rare occasions, even drop to minus 50. Here on the coast of Antarctica, the cold doesn’t bother these Adelie penguins, which are common along the entire Antarctic coast.
They’re, not used to seeing strangers, and they come over to investigate [, Music, ] isn’t. Your dailies, in particular, are very curious. They’ll, come right up to you and there are lots of fun to have around each boss.
Now three days later were finally on our way to the Noi Myer station, located on the extra mice shelf in East Antarctica, [, Music, ] and then all of a sudden there. It is the German research station.
The staff who have spent the winter here give the new arrivals a warm welcome. The equipment has to be unloaded quickly. The pilots want to take off while the weather is still good. The station has been cut off from the outside world for eight months.
The facility looks like a spaceship on stilts for many of the staff. This is the first time on the continent, including dr. Begich, decker back. When you first arrived, you’re sort of overwhelmed by the fact that you’re in Antarctica, but this place has been made as Germans.
There’s possible for better or for worse, and you can help yourself to typical German candy, for instance, and in the well-stocked pantry you can find food products that are available in any German supermarket.
Dr. Begich decker bag is used to carrying out complex operations, but up to now she’s only had to carry out routine checks. You don’t, have any insects here or any flu viruses. We just have contact with the same eight people, but in some cases, when these people return home and encounter normal circumstances, they’ll, find that their stay here has affected their immune system.
That’s. Your net so came from. Had beer get worked as a surgeon at a hospital in Hanover for more than 20 years, but was intrigued by a newspaper ad about a job offer at the NOI Meyer station. She took the position after her four grown children gave their approval.
I asked myself whether I wanted to spend the rest of my career until my retirement doing the same morning rounds at the hospital. It was time for something new. The outdoor working conditions are extreme.
Every day scientists Molly shot Luna and Osama Mustafa set off to do their research on penguins. We always take along emergency supplies, including a tent [ Music ]. The ice here extends 200 meters beneath the surface, [ Music ] a few kilometers away.
We see the first ice blows large expanses of white that float on the sea surface. There’s, nothing here, but ice and emperor penguins. These birds thrive in this harsh habitat, mahi, Charlotte and Osama, are studying this penguin colony on behalf of the German government’s, Environment Agency, the birds breed in the extreme cold of the Antarctic winter.
The scientists are monitoring the chicks fate and using accidents on inside room. Would you at this point? They’ve grown quite a bit, and the parents often leave them alone, while they go to look for food now that chicks are slowly starting to form groups amongst themselves, and that will give them some protections.
Mahi, Charlotte and Osama are going to launch a drone to help them count. How many penguins are in the colony. The camera takes photographs at specific intervals. Ideally, those pictures should have quite a bit of overlap so that afterwards we can take the photos and piece them together.
Preliminary estimates put the population of this colony at about 26,000, the Penguins migrate to the frozen sea ice every year to breed and raise their young, but some experts say that climate change could threaten the birds existence.
Mali, Charlotte explains why, for this particular colonies, there’s, a real risk that the structure of the sea ice that they breed on will change. If the temperature rises and the ice recedes or breaks up earlier than expected, the Penguins breeding season will be cut short, or maybe they & # 39.
Ll have no place to breed at all. That could threaten the future of the entire colony. Here it’s, important to us that people in Germany, for example, find out what is happening here and realize we need to protect these birds.
Something has to be done now. Not in 30 years we’ve all finished and twice as much penguins have hardly any natural enemies in the Antarctic, during the summer months, emperor penguins forage the icy waters for food after breeding, the male incubates, the female single egg.
During some of the harshest winter weeks, [ Music ], the researchers often find the carcasses of penguin chicks that have died in the extreme cold [ Music, ] Alexander VIN. Tell in Benoit valise take the birds body back to their lab to try to determine the cause and time of death.
Do you doesn’t? They probably died two or three months ago you can tell by their size their bodies are frozen, so they’ve been well-preserved. A lot of the chicks died young in these extreme conditions.
It’s really tough. Here we found a lot of dead chicks that were the same size. We suspect that they died at the same time, maybe in a storm. But despite the deaths of many chicks, the colony’s, population has remained fairly stable for years.
Alexandre and Benoit are looking for some penguins that they tagged years ago, either with GPS devices or rings on their feet. That data will help researchers find out how far the birds travel to find food [, Music ], but today the researchers only come across more dead chicks.
This one probably died recently, maybe just a few weeks ago, will measure the carcass that beak length the wing length in the weight to determine their age at the time of death is the servation site for dt2 stab few other penguin colonies are studied as extensively as This one [ Music, ] thermal imaging cameras and high-resolution lenses record the bird’s movements, especially during the winter months, when they huddle together as fool’s.
It seems funny. The aim of each bird is to use as little energy as possible during the winter breeding season, that’s, why they try to optimize their position in the colony. What’s fascinating? Is that the creatures managed without any hierarchy, anyone telling them what to do to rotate their position in the group in a very orderly and collective way? The researchers are concerned about the impact of global warming on the Antarctic sea ice because it could permanently damage the fragile ecological balance in the region.
Thus, if we meet the one point, five or two degree target agreed in the Paris Convention, we can save these birds. If not, they’ll, be extinct by 2100. The latest one, the neue Meyer station, requires a year-round maintenance.
The snow is being moved to the facilities, underground garage and storage area to help shore up the basis of the 16 hydraulic columns on which the structure stands: [, Music, ]. Every year the technical crew raises the columns by about 100 centimeters, to keep the structure above the surface of the snow and ice [ Music ].
I like the way that science and technology interact here. Science needs technology, but without science there would be no technology. Every year, Holger Schubert gets the snow grooming machines ready for the summer season.
Time is of the essence. There are hundreds of kilometers of snow roads that need to be leveled, but first the machines need a tune-up and it’s. Minus 15 degrees out here today, since its guns, when it’s, really cold.
It’s better to work in pairs so that you can keep an eye on each other’s, faces and look out for any signs of frostbite commitment or to four fabulous eating. The researchers have adapted well to the extreme conditions.
Electrical engineer, Thomas shod, has to keep everything up and running. One of his most important tasks is to collect fresh snow and convert it into drinking water. The snow that we brought in is melting.
Now I want a temperature is about six degrees. It’ll, be ready in two hours or so Tomas knows the station inside and out during the long winter months. The skeleton crew has to be self-reliant among Thomas’s, duties, the maintenance of the sewage and wastewater treatment equipment.
We will declare the above used purified wastewater in the flush toilets. The water is so clean that you could drink it, at least in theory, criteria discrete pavia. This is the station’s, heating system, which keeps the facility at room temperature.
Even during the coldest days the system is powered by three diesel generators. The power plant also makes use of any waste heat that’s generated and outside a wind turbine brings in even more electricity, but up to now, renewables only account for a quarter of the station’s.
Energy needs. This is all in plan or mobile. Doesn’t, actually run. We’re working on introducing more wind energy and harnessing other sustainable resources. It’s very difficult in these conditions. With these extreme temperatures and storms, the wind turbine, often ices up Mako’s.
Shu maha is an atmospheric chemist. He has to walk a kilometer and a half everyday to reach a site where he takes no samples. He’s, going to pound this plastic tube into the snow. Afterwards, the sample will be carefully packed and shipped to Germany for analysis.
These tests are aimed at determining how new snow turns into glacial ice over time. Maca says it’s. Pretty solitary work you spend a lot of time by yourself out here in the middle of nowhere and the weather conditions are extreme speeding, the temperature can drop to minus 40 and there’s.
The windchill effects with such odd vinta by marcus works in his own building, which houses the air chemistry observatory. He monitors the presence of greenhouse gases in the Antarctic atmosphere. Listen here.
We have four big pumps that feed air into four different filtration systems. Marcos records the increase in soot particles, for example during large fires in the Amazon rainforest, but his main focus is on carbon dioxide and other compounds that can damage the Earth’s atmosphere.
We measure the co2 and then capture the molecules in a sodium hydroxide solution. This milky liquid here that’s as it’s. Diesel Michigan Smith, subscribe by analyzing the individual atoms maquas can determine where the carbon dioxide comes from.
Overall, he’s, seen a significant rise in co2 levels, known to be a major contributor to global warming. This steep increase, doesn’t, just represent a serious problem for the areas where these gases are produced, the industrial regions of the northern hemisphere, those materials have now spread around the world, and we’ve even found them here in Antarctica.
For years, scientists like Makos, have been calling attention to the increase in greenhouse gases, but politicians have failed to take action. This is a second it’s, a scary situation because we & # 39.
Ve observed this increase and we actually know what impact it will have. Despite our best efforts, no one is willing to stand up and do something to try and stop it scientists that’s, not only scary. It’s really depressing.
You take your measurements, collect your data and you report your findings and those facts are just ignored: [, Music, ]. This frustration is why Marquess organized what is almost certainly the world’s, southernmost climate change protesting.
He and his colleagues here at no Meyer station wanted to show their support for young people around the world were also taking part in demonstrations. Maybe at the far end of the planet, but even this far-flung part of the world is being affected by climate change.
A photograph with symbolic power, meteorologist Michelle cough is responsible for determining what impact global warming might already be. Having on the Antarctic atmosphere for his research, he collects data that include wind speed, solar radiation and the reflective properties of the ice crust.
German scientists have been taking such measurements in the Antarctic since the early 1980s. These reports are sent to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, vendhya the schema spacing. When we talk about climate.
We have to look at data over a period of at least 30 years. One year’s worth of information, simply isn’t enough. Captain Stonyfield echidnas here michio is getting ready to launch a weather balloon. It goes up every morning at 11, o’clock and measures, air temperature and the density of the ozone layer to an altitude of up to 30 kilometers Michio says that so far his data show no evidence of global warming here, at this specific spot.
Under stats own, at this station, we haven’t recorded any changes in temperature. Many other research stations in Antarctica haven’t either, but there has been a sizable increase in temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula.
The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the continent researcher there has shown this rise in temperatures has led to accelerate a glacial melting if it’s coupled with ocean warming. This could have a serious impact on the sea ice where penguins live and breed ocean warming could also further accelerate the melting of the glaciers.
This would contribute to rising global sea levels. The scientists at the NOI Maia station are making a substantial contribution to the complex research required in these fields, but they’re, also studying how to grow vegetables and other produce in this harsh environment.
This is the Eden ISS project, a hi-tech greenhouse that may one day provide astronauts with the technology they’ll need to cultivate plants during extended space missions after you’ve, been here for a few weeks in the darkness, and you’ve only seen white, it’s, a wonderful experience coming in here with the smell it makes you think of being on vacation in Italy.
When you open the window, it’s, great tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers grow without soil. The plants exposed roots are sprayed with a nutrient solution. This is a real luxury for us. Since June, we’ve, been able to serve fresh lettuce.
Every evening later we added tomatoes and cucumbers. People love it. A mother, a few Florida beloved chef, Catalina, noun Dorf, says that this is probably the world’s, southernmost vegetable garden, finding the s and after the first harvest we celebrated.
We used to have letters flown in from Cape Town, but we hadn’t had any for at least a month, so this was a real event for people is saying. Finally, something green Don Varas from vidoes Alliance war was greener.
Here Catalina is even preparing a dish with fresh pesto made with basil leaves from the greenhouse. The other ingredients come from the freezer. The researchers here are laying the groundwork for the development of plant cultivation technology that may be used in the future onboard the International Space Station Catalina enjoys her work at NOAA Maya, but she does get homesick.
Sometimes my oldest nephew got married recently, but I had to stay here. I wish I could have been there. I really wanted to go so you do miss your loved ones. Sport is one distraction. Regular workouts at the research stations gym help keep the staff in good physical and mental shape.
Do your physicist, ediot quagga tries to get everyone involved? I can’t just sit around for a whole year and do nothing so we all ended up coming down here to get food at first. It was really hard and we all cursed eded.
But now we love her [ Laughter. ] staff at the NOI mayer station can also look forward to a drink at the end of the day, but they have to accept they’ll have the same drinking buddies for months on end the Mandel.
If you prefer to avoid people, you don’t belong here, as your combat feel and plot is very small group that we all depend on each other. We have to help each other. Are they heaven and we really need to have a strong team spirit if Tiger team, to some note, give fact [, Music, ] and so ends? Another day at the NOI Maya station, a unique research facility located in one of the coldest and most remote places on earth.