NOVA Mystery Beneath the Ice airs on WSKG TV at 9pm.
The population of krill has crashed since the 1970s for reasons that continue to baffle the experts. These delicate, transparent, shrimp-like creatures are crucial to the Antarctic ecosystem and, maybe, to the future of all our oceans.
Could the krill’s life cycle be driven by an internal body clock that responds to the waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice pack? As climate change alters the timing of the ice pack, their life cycle is disrupted—or so the theory goes. To test this theory, NOVA travels on the Polarstern, a state-of-the-art research vessel, to a place rarely visited: the vast ice pack that grows around Antarctica in the winter months. There, they hope to discover what’s causing the krill to vanish and, ultimately, how the shifting seasons caused by climate change could disrupt ecosystems around the world.