Premiering Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.
Journey to the top of the world with scientists as they embark on the most ambitious Arctic research expedition of all time. The Arctic – much of it a vast frozen ocean, shrouded in darkness for half the year – is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the globe. Since the northern ice cap acts as a cooling system for the entire planet, its rapid melting is making the world warm faster, potentially disrupting weather patterns, ocean currents, and biodiversity. Yet because the Arctic is so inaccessible and inhospitable, establishing exactly what’s going on and forecasting its future have proven elusive. In “Arctic Drift,” NOVA takes viewers on a groundbreaking expedition that will bring vital new clarity to scientists’ predictions of global change. Experts from over twenty different nations join the voyage of the massive Polarstern icebreaker as it’s gripped by the polar ice and drifts for nearly an entire year. From this unique research station, they can make long-term observations and perform experiments in unprecedented detail. But long hours in this harsh environment bring their own challenges, including hungry polar bears, perilous sea ice cracks, and equipment failure. With spectacular cinematography and gripping personal stories, Arctic Drift follows scientists in their high-risk race against time to understand the Arctic before it changes our world forever.