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tv   Antarctica On The Edge  Al Jazeera  November 29, 2017 1:32am-2:01am +03

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security council has held a briefing on the libyan people smuggling crisis amid evidence that the trade is growing libya is the main transit hub for refugees and migrants attempting to reach southern europe by sea and there are claims that some are being sold there as slaves meanwhile a libyan accused of involvement in the two thousand and twelve attack on the u.s. embassy in the city of benghazi has been convicted on terrorism charges in the u.s. however i made abu khattala was cleared on the more serious offense of murder. kenya's president uhuru kenyatta has urged his country to move on from months of political upheaval after being sworn in for a second term is inauguration follows a violent and drawn out election process which included two disputed polls while elsewhere in nairobi at least two people were killed when police clashed with supporters of the opposition leader. says that he is the rightful president. francis has avoided any direct mention of me and lars or hinge
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a muslim minority as he appeared alongside the country's leader and son switchy the head of the roman catholic church insisted that myanmar should respect the rights of all ethnic groups well those are the headlines stay with us coming up next here on al-jazeera it's our surprising my colleagues in the head we'll have more news after that thanks for watching. this december the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons will receive the nobel peace prize but what is the real threat in a series of special reports al-jazeera examines the state of nuclear proliferation around the world.
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parts of antarctica a warming faster than anywhere else on the planet this is having an effect on wildlife and is altering deep ocean currents which regulate the world's climate from the poles to the equator. as antarctica's ice melts we're seeing global sea levels rise and unpredictable changes too with world wide. and this earth rise special we visit the world's most remote continent to see the effects of climate change firsthand. i'm tired as an obvious meaning the next month on this research vessel travelling around antarctica with a group of scientists who are trying to understand how the changes taking place there will affect us all.
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a jewel an expedition in hobart australia the russian research ship academy contrition a cough has been hired by the swiss polar institute to circumnavigate antarctica. it will be a floating lebar tree from which fifty five scientists will do twenty two different experiments. david wallsten has been. visiting antarctica for more than fifty years and as the expedition chief scientist. because the antarctic and the southern ocean actually influence the whole of the global weather system and all the currents in the oceans it matters to everybody it also matters if they aren't all begins to melt as far as world sea level is concerned it's a larger source of new war frighted to the oceans in the world so even if you live somewhere a long way away if you're low lying on the coast the antarctic matters to you. the
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voyage will take us two and a half thousand kilometers south from hobart to the edge of antarctica will then travel five thousand kilometers east making stops at a number of islands. then after a month say you will return to port in southern chile. the first we must cross what are known as the furious fifty's in screaming sixty's latitudes nine for they ferocious with. we face hundred kilometer hour winds and ten meter away. it's a nearly reminder of the potent energy of the ocean. as we sail selfie and see fast become.
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then on the sixth morning we wake up to sea ice. soon we're forced to navigate around icebergs some the size of a football pitch others are more than one hundred kilometers long. then. finally we arrive at the minutes glass in antarctica. and he lays in the powerful winds coming in off the glass and dropping down into the sea this is the one place on the planet at sea level and it's certainly playing up that reputation tonight. the mets glassy a fascinate scientists because in two thousand and thirteen an enormous chunk around seventy five by thirty five kilometers broke off after it was not by
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a large iceberg. this is dramatically changed the flow of ice in the area it's also exposed large areas of ocean floor to study for the first time. the weather comes right on the ship cox it's balanced against the glass yet this gives the scientists a stable platform to begin their work. this suffering yeah exactly. say is a biologist and in charge of an ambitious project something out of a science fiction yeah it's quite amazing. so much here on the whole of the swiss army knife the swiss army knife and time it's cover yes exactly yes the techniques are some things are ok i. hate them so well i see something you must know his own is cameras basically we work very hard to
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finish and cameras. digital still camera one fork a camera here basically we are interested. so very soon. along we always call them along with the the from. the team expects to see a vertical wall of ice dropping five hundred meters from the surface but instead there's a surprise. they discover a huge underwater cavern been in this part of the glass in. the sea water is warmer than expected and this is unusual evidence of melt. really close to the ice and discovered that it was really water no ice everything was going to melt away with still going to a lot of. the rock that we were not expecting. especially
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not this. so far into the. warmer ocean currents and now flowing through the south towards antarctica. scientists believe the kind of melt we've seen here who contribute more than a meter to global sea level rise by the end of the century and up to thirteen meters of the next five hundred years. glass is like rivers of ice so when the ocean water warms and they melt the remaining ice moves faster towards the sea it seemed glaciologist want to see how this is happening and ice cores from next to the glass is age seven meters down they find something unexpected. this is the bubbles in.
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this thing they thought was probably can is can time water a liquid salty water. finding so water here suggests warmer ocean currents are having an impact possibly weakening like last year from beneath. all. thankfully copters return and the ice cores are loaded on board thanks. to back on the ship they placed in a giant freezer. the history of this size is the first cause it's not. going to the continent and then it depth the pressure of the snow above it is compressing compressing into at a depth of about sixty meters this will be so compressed that inform solid ice one of the principles of science is that while that's happening. from the atmosphere
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that it was that is in the snow when it is being locked into you see these bubbles forming right. gradually as we get deeper under more and more pressure. get isolated and you see these little bubbles and that's you know when we get deeper into the ice because we want to look at carbon dioxide concentrations back thousands hundreds of thousands of years it's puppets of the atmosphere that we get into so you see that process starting here. few our schools have been taken from this part of antarctica so there's little specific information about how the climate is changing but it's hope these samples will help fill this gap. further east live the balun a islands for most of the year they're locked in sea ice but a visit like this and summer means a team of scientists can drain the ocean floor and i've been drafted in to help. them. with a. certain amount of the rocks and
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a lot of the water have come up in the name so the technique is pretty much that is the thought of the last battle rocks in the mud and then after that they can get. places that have come up with. a particular interest of those that take carbon from the environment by locking it away in their shells these then end up being buried in the sea bed when they die. another time. over the last hundred years carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen dramatically largely as a result of al burning of fossil fuels. the role these creatures play to counteract this needs to be better understood and incorporated in climate change models. so
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nothing is the word. with more than a centimeter. made of carbon that these guys here the pressing worms and these tiny things here. that angle by much but there are hundreds of little combinations animals that. store. as well. and for this oil. balance. system. one source at the creatures are taken to the lab and photographed. the sea mouse is a notable catch. so to this brittle star another uncoils itself measuring around fifty centimeters across. many of these creatures will be
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preserved and after the expedition the d.n.i. will be analyzed giving the researchers detailed data about the distribution and diversity. having picked over the summer look for anything of interest there are still rocks like them as any one thing to do on a ship like this you extract ballast so. the robust team also tune their cameras on life on the sea floor. at a depth of nine hundred meters they take samples of cold water corals and a wide variety of other species. they also take see them and course these will give them clues about what's being buried in the ocean floor and how it's changed over
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time. but it's lighter in the dive than extraordinary observations my. we have this sea star more precisely a brittle star crawling on of sea floor which we believe it or scavenger but certainly have a fish describing it just in the fish with it poison we don't know yet because that's just me you would ever seen that before and it just in a fish in the side it's really this will start just roll it it's trying to eat the fish which can swim in it at a speed watch watch much faster than any kind of of sea star you can call it a sea floor so that's quite amazing just to see that that's that that's the when you. close analysis of the footage reveals ten examples of this. behavior. these are two of the most abundant species living in antarctic waters
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and interaction of this nature has important implications for understanding climate change all the common which is contained in today's fish. done nothing to the voter will do isn't ultimately very and we do know quite a lot of organisms including when organisms which are very efficient are poisoning their prey well i sing this is the case but we still have to to do a bit more research we've made a discovery we're now in is that we have to to do further research to really understand what we see. we're. antarctica has the cleanest stand on the planet and at each stop on the voyage atmospheric scientists julia shamali has used a mobo kit to take some photos. she's also picked a suite of instruments into a shipping container on board i do has
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a good offend you in the big red head out here today f l n n thanks very much why did the stuff pass of him why he's an interested there was so actually in particular we're interested in the tiny particles that are in the air we call them aerosol aerosol particular and they have very important for the water cycle because they form clouds without these tiny particles we would not have any clouds in our atmosphere so it would never rain. earth would be a completely different planet to see if the hot ticket spent ten full droplets on not that we use this machine and the cloud machine here that you know we should make here are some are making our own cloud in here so it's very important floss to understand politics clouds formed before the industrial revolution before humankind actually started burning fossil fuels in large amounts. because it makes
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a big difference for our climate for the clouds and for the hydrological cycle in general. climate change models a generally better at predicting variations in temperature rather than precipitation let's hope the data from this experiment will mean that. as the ship continues east we come across more c.r.s. . without crunching our wife through the arts because. well across the sea ice flies i want to drop a camera down to say can have a look at the balance doing down there through really quite remarkable. luckily for us anyway the balance of this twelve thousand ton ice breaker rides up over the ice for unchained there as well that. the power from the chamber through the sea ice. ok comes another enormous chunk
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let's see how this one if it is under the bows of the academy they called pushed out of the so i. the next opposite one of the smallest islands on this leg of the voyage just five football pitches inside scott on and is washed over by y. . and in stormy conditions at sixty seven only by helicopter. its two winds whip for seabirds tánaiste that lie can and must to grow in the correct volcanic rocks. hopefully with the moss the soil going to fall into the rivers and that you just not hear of how the animals have cut through not i think it's climate change the past which mostly
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natural but also how they my belief in a definitely you know in facing the future. before we can be flown off the island back to the ship there's a sudden change in the winter. the helicopters clearly being grounded on the ship they are not able to return to the island to take us out and we have enough equipment with us and ten ten and rations for four days inside it is a great concern there but it does start you thinking about how you could possibly survive on an island like this so room by side or just well. fortunately the way the lifts just long enough to fly us off the island and was saved from either having to find out. back on the ship the samples or dried it's hoped in the living things will drop out of this like it has also
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examined and within it there's a discovery smaller than a pinhead this is the first time this tiny might has been found here similar mites have been found in other parts of the continent but it's likely that this is a new species something a new d.n.a. tests after the expedition can confirm the landscape is incredibly old so you know probably started off one hundred eighty million years ago would have been a tropical rainforest and it's now looks like it does both sides and so these are some of the few things that are probably managed to hang on that long and so now there are some of the most successful organisms that live here. where. the teams made to discuss their next move from satellite images it appears the next island on the route peter the first is surrounded by sea ice this will make a visit difficult. instead some of the scientists call for the voyage to divert
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they've spotted clear water around a coastal area which is normally docked in sea ice it's a rare opportunity for them to attempt to visit. the ship's course is changed and we arrive at mt siple it's one of the continent's tallest and most isolated volcanoes rising more than three thousand meters from the sea. we scout the area and find a large number of a daily penguins. but it certainly comes so in touch with to see them in their natural environment see what an extraordinary animal they are and just how incredibly they are living and. what it. means values and then mystic on the top. by the time we return to the ship it's late in the evening. but at this time of
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year at such high latitudes it doesn't get dark. instead there's a long and spectacular sunsets. the following morning we fly back from outside port. listen one percent of antarctica is ice free making a place like this prime real estate and nice thing. many of the chicks have been left to fend for themselves while their parents go to sea to catch currall the pinkish color of the shrimp like food often ending up staining their front us as far as we know scientists have never visited this colony before so the group we're with wants and i how large it is and whether there's any other species living here we have behind me a whole lot of adelie paying going on is going to turn around here say this chap here he is looking a bit odd because he's losing his baby feels he's worth
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a few months old isn't safe he's very friendly. when the parents return there much in demand sometimes from their own offspring but frequently from other hungry birds hoping for a feed it's late in the season and many are exercising their wings and preparation to leave. nothing about the other three birds as they give you this sort of canary in the cold while indication as to what's happening in the third iteration and this is the thing if you can totally big. this colony appears to be thriving but on the antarctic peninsula to the east of here it's a different story. the area is warming faster than any other place on the planet and colonies of our daily penguins like these have been abandoning the misting sites and moving south perhaps in search of colder locations certainly up sitting
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many hundreds if not thousands of years of breeding behavior. over the previous weeks we've been to some extraordinary places and seen dramatic evidence of climate change it's change many of the scientists feel should be ringing alarm bells in the rest of the world. in the same way that the antarctic sea ice is actually changing in terms of its distribution pattern the sea is warming off the antarctic peninsula the glaciers are retreating out thick sea ice is at its lowest yet known these are all indications that the world as a whole is warming and that we need to be concerned about the future we certainly know enough to say we need to act now we should act that yes that they figure to be speaking there's not much time. action into the future i think. where we're
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very clear about this. week about. that of knowledge we still have some work to do we're already kind of learning new. experiments new extraditions to try and really understand what you see. the expedition is collected tens of thousands of samples and millions of megabytes of data. for these scientists who will return to their nabs around the world these years of work here. we're just scratching the surface to understand how antarctica is the southern border so significant when it comes to the broader issues of climate change and and really when the earth is going to go where our climate is going to go in the years ahead. the scientific findings made on this forward will add weight to
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what's now overwhelming proof that our planet is warming and that climate change is posing a serious threat to the sustainability of law. the evidence is clearer than ever what's needed now is for people everywhere to accept the science engage with the problem and take action. a year on from the election which should washington both the republican and democratic parties are struggling to adjust to a polarized electorate and it really is an identity crisis you just run against drugs or do you literally stake out a set of positions that offer us a clear alternative not just a truck but to the politics that gave you a truck full of lines examines the shifting sands of american politics life of the party at this time on al-jazeera. we understand the differences and the similarities of cultures across the world. so
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