The Enduring Ice Project is a spotlight on the Arctic Ocean and the natural systems that keep the Earth cool. The project explores the connections between distant polar seas and the conditions that balance global climate. Our goal is to spark curiosity and engagement.
These days we hear a lot about how things are heating up, and engineers are proposing technological fixes to cool the world down. Meanwhile, many geophysicists point to the natural system that has long kept the Earth from scorching under the heat of the sun, a “cooling system” linked to Arctic snow and ice cover.
The Arctic Ocean is the fastest-changing environment on Earth, warming at four to seven times the global average. The biggest changes are in the decline of the Arctic’s sea ice volume – three fourths gone since the 1980s. And when the Arctic Ocean loses its bright, frozen cover, our entire planet is exposed to greater heating under the sun. Arctic seas are now absorbing solar energy that used to be reflected back out to space, amplifying global warming by an estimated 25%. Despite this reality, there is very little public awareness of the vital role the Arctic Ocean continues to play in balancing the world’s climate.
Like the Mars rover relaying its first images back to earth, the Enduring Ice expedition opens a window to the otherworldly and fantastical Arctic.
From a vantage point in the northernmost Arctic, it’s possible to see the way ocean and atmosphere work together, and bring those interactions into meaningful focus. The documentary Albedo – In Search of a Frozen Ocean provides the entryway to these discoveries and insights. Drawing upon the day-to-day events taking place on the Enduring Ice scientific expedition – with a team of explorers beset in a jumble of sea ice – the film offers audiences unique exposure to hands-on field science and extreme wilderness travel.
The Enduring Ice Project is inspired by the philosophy that it’s possible to think like a scientist without being a scientist.