WGBH Openvault

NOVA; Secrets Beneath the Ice


Packaged Green Label Master

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Secrets Beneath the Ice
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

In 2002, an immense, 200 meter-thick ice shelf, the size of Manhattan, collapsed into the ocean off the Antarctic Peninsula, shocking scientists and raising the alarming possibility that we may be heading toward an ice-free Antarctica -- last seen a million years ago. That would raise world sea levels so high that New York City would be flooded up to the level of the Statue of Liberty's shoulders. But could this really happen? Is Antarctica's surprising past a reliable guide to what may happen to our warming planet? To gather crucial evidence, NOVA follows the most ambitious scientific project launched during the International Polar Year: a state-of-the-art drilling probe known as ANDRILL. Penetrating more than a kilometer through the floating sea ice, ANDRILL recovers evidence from the seabed that reveals details of climate and fauna from a time when dinosaurs and forests once thrived in Antarctica. As the scientists grapple with the harshest conditions on earth, they discover astonishing and disturbing new clues. Once thought to be locked in a solid deep freeze for the last 15 million years, it now looks like Antarctica's ice has melted and frozen again dozens of times during that period. This breakthrough discovery carries ominous implications for coastal cities around the globe.

Can Antarctica’s climate past offer clues to what may happen to our warming planet? To gather crucial evidence, NOVA follows an ambitious Antarctic investigation - a state-of-the-art drilling probe known as ANDRILL. Drilling deep beneath the Antarctic ice, down through the sea and three-fourths of a mile into the seafloor, ANDRILL recovers rock cores that reveal intimate details of climate and fauna from a time in the distant past when the Earth was just a few degrees warmer than it is today. As researchers grapple with the harshest conditions on the planet, they discover astonishing new clues - not only about Antarctica’s past, but also Earth’s future.

A NOVA Production by NET Television and Lone Wolf Documentary Group for WGBH / Boston



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Secrets Beneath the Ice,” 12/10/2010, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 23, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9C0C8097BE184539B9009D3FD9095EDD.
MLA: “NOVA; Secrets Beneath the Ice.” 12/10/2010. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 23, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9C0C8097BE184539B9009D3FD9095EDD>.
APA: NOVA; Secrets Beneath the Ice. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9C0C8097BE184539B9009D3FD9095EDD
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.