Four-Part PBS NewsHour Series “Warnings from Antarctica” to Debut in April 2019

Arlington, VA (March 26, 2019) — Throughout the month of April – and as part of PBS NewsHour’s weekly Leading Edge science reporting on Wednesdays – correspondent William Brangham and producers Emily Carpeaux and Mike Fritz travel to Earth’s southernmost continent with the cross-platform series “Warnings from Antarctica.” From how climate change and growing tourism have affected the continent and its wildlife to Antarctica’s history – where fewer than 200 years ago humans first set foot – the series will explore:

Wednesday, April 3, 2019: Can the Penguins Adapt?
As the world around them warms, how are three penguin species on the Antarctic peninsula faring? This story follows the researchers who’ve been tracking these charismatic birds, and how their ability to adapt might offer lessons for humans in the face of climate change.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: The Threat of Sea Level Rise
Antarctica is a continent-sized sheet of ice, and parts of the region are warming at an accelerating rate. If Antarctica’s ice continues to melt, the potential for truly dangerous sea-level rise goes up dramatically. This will explore the way climate is impacting Antarctica and the real threat of sea-level rise to coastal communities all over the world.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019: A Tourist Boom at the Bottom of the World
For centuries, humans never ventured to the icy continent at the bottom of the world, but that’s now changing as a tourism boom takes off in Antarctica. Luxury cruise ships now shuttle thousands to see the spectacular vistas, frolic with the penguins and gawk at the whales. Some researchers worry this traffic might endanger this pristine environment, where the human impact has thus far largely been kept at bay. Others argue tourism can be successfully managed and these visits instead create citizens who care about climate change and protecting wildlife.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019: How We Discovered Antarctica
For most of human history, Antarctica remained a mystery. Humans only set foot on the continent about 200 years ago. This piece will tell the remarkable story of the discovery of Antarctica and the daring explorers who first explored its frigid interior. This story will also explore the unique diplomatic agreement that governs the Antarctic today, where no military activities are allowed, and all science that’s conducted is shared equally among nations.

Coverage will extend online and on NewsHour’s social platforms throughout the month of April, to include social video and a podcast companion series offering a deeper look.

This series received support from the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change.