Operation Iceberg – A team of adventurers and scientists put their courage to the test in the most extreme of environments – exploring the unknown world of icebergs.
Chris Packham, Helen Czerski, Andy Torbet, Chris Van Tulleken and Doug Allan travel to the Arctic to trace the life cycle of icebergs, some of Earth’s most stunning natural phenomena. No expedition has explored their creation, life and death… until now.
In the first episode, the team sets out to discover why Store Glacier in Greenland makes so many icebergs on such a huge scale. Working with ice experts, the team looks at the forces at work in this unpredictable environment. Naturalist Chris Packham takes a trip on a research yacht in the danger zone at the front of the glacier, using special scanning equipment to discover what exists below the sea level. Ocean specialist Helen Czerski and diver Andy Torbet explore the inside of the glacier and, in a prime spot overlooking the glacier, cameraman Doug Allan patiently awaits the calving of Store Glacier.
In episode two, the team explores an iceberg itself, discovering what happens to them out at sea – and what forces break them down. They choose the Petermann iceberg, a huge tabular berg around 50 kilometres from the Canadian coast. It’s a hazardous expedition. As they prepare to board and start experiments, the unstable iceberg begins to break up beneath their feet. They confront the Arctic’s biggest predator – polar bears – which infest the berg and stalk the team on the ice. Expedition medic Chris Van Tulleken looks at the physiological reactions of the human body to cold water. He and a fellow team member are kitted out with heart-rate monitors as they jump into the Arctic sea to discover what happens to us in extreme immersion.
In increasingly perilous conditions, the team remains committed to finding answers to the many questions about exactly what happens to these frozen wonders of the natural world.
The expedition includes scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and the US Byrd Polar Research Institute, along with ice experts from Cambridge University, St Andrews University and Aberystwyth University.
Channel: BBC2 / Discovery Channel
Producer: BBC Scotland
TX: October 2012
Source: BBC press release