In early December, the Will Steger Foundation co-hosted a screening of Antarctica: On the Edge at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, including a panel discussion after the screening with filmmakers Gary Smaby, Jon Bowermaster and our founder, Will Steger.
Though big and remote, seemingly tough and foreboding, Antarctica can be a fragile place too. As the planet continues to change – and warm – Antarctica and its wildlife are changing too, and fast. According to Bowermaster: “One of the primary reasons I wanted to make this film was to be able to talk about how climate change is already changing this continent that we regard as foreboding, remote, frozen. The truth is, along the 900-mile Peninsula where we were, summer temperatures have warmed by five to nine degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years, one of the greatest warmings on the planet. Just as we’re seeing the Arctic Ocean and Greenland melt and disappear as temperatures warm, the same thing is happening in Antarctica. In the next 50 to 100 years, there will be massive changes along the edges of Antarctica, which will impact the entire planet. It’s fascinating for me to be able to go down every year and literally see how the place is changing.”
Antarctica 3D On the Edge recently won the BLUE Ocean Film Festival Exploration and Adventure Award. BLUE Ocean Film Festival celebrates top cinematic works for ocean conservation and awareness. You can view the film trailer online.
The event was extremely timely, as recent reports claim the rate of ice loss from West Antarctica has tripled in the past decade. Two reports attributed this loss to warmer ocean waters that are eating away at Antarctic glacier bottoms from below. If the West Antarctic ice sheets completely collapses, it would raise sea levels by 11 feet around the world. (Read more: Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Science Magazine, NewScientist, Bloomberg, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Sydney Morning Herald, Grist, Guardian, USA Today).