Antarctic Mission Jean Lemire

Antarctic Mission Jean Lemire
Exploring the dramatic impact of climate change on Antarctica and its wildlife, the three-part Antarctic Mission narrated by David Suzuki acts as a scientific companion piece to Jean Lemire's more esoteric and successful documentary, The Last Continent. While Continent examined global warming and its impact on ice formation incidentally, it was equally concerned with the psychological impact that isolation and unpredictable environments had on the crew of scientists and filmmakers. Mission takes up the reigns, filling in all those pesky scientific facts, which point to a rapidly encroaching global crisis. Divided into episodes titled "Islands at the Edge," "A Window on a Changing Climate" and "The Great Ocean of Ice," the documentary examines how a six-degree change in weather over the past 50 years has led to less ice formation and melting glaciers, pointing out that global warming is more significant in polar climates than it is near the equator. Since krill, a shrimp-like invertebrate that's the primary dietary source for penguins and crab seals, feeds upon phytoplankton that grows beneath the ice, their numbers are decreasing, which in turn impacts the penguins and seals. This, in turn, impacts their numbers, leading to an increase in natural predators picking them off, dramatically helping some species but exterminating others, which as we all know is a never-ending chain. Also examined is the lack of resilience that Antarctic marine life has to climate change, which, given the dramatic increase in temperature at the South Pole, spells doom for the survival of these species. The documentary is interesting, well researched and presented, suffering only from a tendency to be repetitive and occasionally condescending, which may be necessary to communicate to all age brackets and demographics, as the doc is rated G. (Seville)