Arctic sea ice, which forms a plate of roughly the size of Europe, is disappearing. The Tipping Point takes viewers on a trip to an ice breaker, through the fabled Northwest Passage in the company of scientists to see how polar bears, seals, and arctic birds are struggling to adapt to rising temperature and shrinking terrain.
But beyond these concerns for the wildlife, the melting ice caps may also have an effect on human life. Expert interviews explain how thawing permafrost will release methane into the atmosphere, forming an unstable bomb-like explosive, and how carbon released from the permafrost will further heat the atmosphere, advancing global warming. Immediate extreme weather caused by melting sea ice is expected to bring violent storms and cyclones to some regions and severe droughts to others.
The film goes on to explore the political and economic implications of the Canadian Coast Guard prediction that the Northwest Passage will soon be entirely thawed. With vast oil and mineral reserves locked beneath the melting ice and several Arctic shipping routes, including one across the North Pole, being seriously considered, will the scramble for strategic advantage lead the major arctic powers-including Norway, Russian, Canada, Denmark, and the United States-to war?
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