Ice and the Sky: a trip down to the planet’s memory lane

By Nathalie Bellanger, LCCP Project Officer

I’ve recently had the chance to watch a preview of Ice and the Sky, by Oscar-winning filmmaker Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins). The film tells us the inspiring story of Claude Lorius, a glaciologist who has dedicated his life to studying the icescapes of Antarctica. [Photograph on the right: Eskwad–Wild Touch]

In Ice and the Sky, Jacquet joins Lorius as he journeys to Antarctica one final time, 60 years after first setting foot on the continent. Accompanied by some breath-taking landscape photography and a fascinating array of archival footage from his many expeditions, Lorius reflects on his life’s work – his successes, the hardships suffered during his time spent on the ice, and the key milestones of his scientific investigations through the decades, leading to clearer and clearer findings.

The story starts with Lorius’ first Antarctic expedition, when he falls in love with those parts of the globe that had remained unexplored until then. He thus decides to spend the rest of his life exploring the secrets of the planet’s ice layers. Lorius soon realises those layers unveil endless testimonies of our world’s history – a striking moment is when he discovers, in atmosphere trapped in ice from one of the most remote parts of the globe, traces of the World Wars’ nuclear episodes…

Lorius’ ground-breaking discoveries will eventually ring one of the first alarms about the global warming crisis affecting the Earth, through exposing human activities’ devastating effect on the planet’s climate.

As a result, the film offers a powerful demonstration of the science community’s robust processes and accumulated evidence behind the causes of our current and upcoming climate disruptions. This gives a great context in which calling for action, both to mitigate and adapt to those disruptions.  What becomes clear is that if human activity is part of the problem, it surely can be part of the solution.

Ice and the Sky will be in cinemas and available on demand from 11 December, and available in DVD from 8 February.

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