Tipping Point

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Wilkinson, Marian. Tipping Point. New York: Four Corners, 2008. HD, 45 min. https://youtu.be/e4d-BXhQS8k.

The Arctic Ice Sea, a plate of ice roughly the size of Europe, is disappearing. Scientists say that by 2013, there will be no sea-ice left in the Arctic, causing a tipping point for climate change throughout the world. Setting out on a summer afternoon from Dartmouth in Canada, the icebreaker Louis St. Laurent sets sail for the Arctic Circle and the fabled Northwest Passage. The bleak snowy islands and frozen waters of the Passage have proved fatal to hundreds of explorers and sailors, but the Arctic is changing. Our warming earth is most dramatically revealed in this modern day journey through the Northwest Passage. As the Louis travels its unique journey, powdery sea-ice dissolves easily in front of its red steel prow. Seals and polar bears rear their young on shrinking plates of ice, and arctic birds struggle to adapt as temperatures rise. Life in the Arctic is a fine balancing act’. The forests of Alaska are surprising victims of the Arctic’s melting ice. Its vast pine forests rest on a layer of solid permafrost, and when the frost melts ‘the ground literally gives way’. More and more trees are leaning over as the ground buckles. More astonishingly, Canadian Coastguards predict that it will not be long before the infamous Northwest Passage will be completely ice-free. And that’ is fuelling a new ‘cold rush’. The business world is eyeing the vast oil and mineral reserves, until now, locked beneath the melting ice. ‘Eventually things will become critical; this issue will become something that people are willing to go to war over.’ (Source: Journeyman Pictures)

© 2008 Journeyman Pictures. Trailer used with permission.

This film is available at the Rachel Carson Center Library (RCC, 4th floor, Leopoldstrasse 11a, 80802 Munich) for on-site viewing only. For more information, please contact library@rcc.lmu.de.

About the Environmental Film Profiles collection

Further readings: 
  • Alexander, L. V., et al. "Global Analyses of Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Ice, and Night Marine Air Temperature Since the Late Nineteenth Century." Journal Of Geophysical Research 108, no. D14 (2003): 4407.
  • Anderson, Alun. After the Ice: Life, Death and Politics in the New Arctic. USA: Virgin Books, 2009.
  • Cone, Marla. Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic. New York City: Grove Press, 2006.
  • Granskog, M. A., P. Assmy, S. Gerland, G. Spreen, H. Steen, and L. H. Smedsrud. "Arctic Research on Thin Ice: Consequences of Arctic Sea Ice Loss." Eos 97 (2016). doi:10.1029/2016EO044097.
  • Krajick, Kevin. "Arctic Life, on Thin Ice." Science 291, no. 5503 (2001): 424-25. doi: 10.1126/science.291.5503.424.
  • Piper, Liza. The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.
  • Spufford, Francis. I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination. London: Faber and Faber, 1996.