28 October, 2011

BAS biologist Dr Lloyd Peck and ice core scientist Dr Robert Mulvaney featured in the ‘Secret Life of Ice’ on BBC 4 (TV) this week.

Ice is one of the strangest, most beguiling and mesmerising substances in the world. Full of contradictions, it is transparent yet it can glow with colour, it is powerful enough to shatter rock but it can melt in the blink of an eye. It takes many shapes, from the fleeting beauty of a snowflake to the multi-million tonne vastness of a glacier and the eeriness of the ice fountains of far-flung moons.

Scientist’s hand holding a slice of ice core from Dyer Plateaux, depth 230m, with the globe superimposed on top of it. Trapped air bubbles, an archive of past atmosphere, are visible in the ice.

Science writer Dr Gabrielle Walker, who visited Rothera Station in 2008, has been obsessed with ice ever since she first set foot on Arctic sea ice. In this programme she searches out some of the secrets hidden deep within the ice crystal to try to discover how something so ephemeral has the power to sculpt landscapes, to preserve our past and inform our future.

Watch the ‘Secret Life of Ice’ on BBCiPlayer