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Act I: A changing continent

Welcome to Antarctica, the land of extremes. Everything here is bigger and more intense. The climate is unlike anywhere else in the world and it's changing fast.

Dr. Oscar Schofield loves extreme environments. He has been studying Antarctica almost his entire life. Listen in as Oscar shares his personal history with this vast continent and what it is like to live at the bottom of Earth where the physics, biology, and chemistry are all changing.

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Act II: A small world after all

According to Dr. Debbie Steinberg, “Antarctic is changing.” But how? And what does that mean for the local wildlife?

In this slideshow, Debbie answers this question by beginning at the microscopic level. As zooplankton - the small creatures that drift throughout the ocean - react to the changing conditions, the entire food web is at risk. Antarctica is the fastest winter warming place on Earth and there will be consequences for larger organisms, like seals and whales.

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Act III: An Adelie exit

Thirty-five years ago, Antarctica was filled with the roar of thousands and thousands of Adelie penguins, but today all that can be heard are the sounds of the surf and wind. Dr. Bill Fraser, who has watched over and studied the Adelie penguins in Antarctica for decades, views their decline as a personal loss. Listen and watch as Bill explains the plight of these flightless birds. In the wake of major warming and the loss of sea ice, what will happen to Adelie and will something else take their place?

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Act IV: A robotic armada

Scientists are now using innovative new tools like underwater robotic gliders to measure the changing Antarctic ecosystem. Gliders allow scientists, like Dr. Oscar Scofield, to get a full picture of what the environment is like without having to face seasickness or the dangers of being at sea in the frigid and rough Southern Ocean. Listen as Oscar explains how these underwater robots work and find out about the role the international glider fleet is playing in documenting the changing climate at the bottom of the world.