Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thin Ice Film



Thin Ice is a joint initiative between Oxford University, United Kingdom, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (VUW), and London-based DOX Productions. Both Universities have active programmes with world-wide networks of collaborators in climate change and related research. For Oxford see, and for VUW see and

The project began over a cup of coffee at a Climate Change and Governance conference in Wellington in March 2006. Peter Barrett (VUW) suggested to Simon Lamb (Oxford) that he make a film about it with his friend David Sington (DOX Productions)

The aim from the outset was to give people from all walks of the life the chance to see the astonishing range of human activity as well as scientific endeavour that is required to help us understand our changing climate. Our idea was then we would all be better able to decide both individually and collectively how we might deal with it.

What we have done

We have visited researchers on 4 continents and the ocean as they studied the changes in the atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets through measurements (from instruments, satellites, ice and rock) and computer modelling. We have to think not only in human time scales (hundreds of years), but also Ice Age time scales (tens of thousands of years), and even beyond (before 2-3 million years ago) when Earth was naturally warmer.


A David Sington/Simon Lamb Film

Directors: David Sington and Simon Lamb

Co-producer: Catherine Fitzgerald

Executive Producers: Peter Barrett and Philip England

Editor: David Fairhead

Music: Phillip Sheppard

Photographer: Simon Lamb

Additional photography: Tony Burrows, Christoph Lerch and Chris Terpstra

Sound: Sarah Kinsella, Michael Kerslake, Tony Williams,

Rudolf Schwarz, Steve Cochran and James Rae


Oxford University Department of Earth Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington:

- Research Office (Professor Neil Quigley)

- Victoria University Foundation (Tricia Walbridge)

- Faculty of Science, Architecture & Design (David Bibby)

- Teaching Aids (Steve Cochran and staff)

Antarctica New Zealand:

- Lou Sanson and staff in Christchurch

- Staff at Scott Base for logistical support during the 2007/8 Antarctic field season

United States National Science Foundation:

- Office of Polar Programs

- Staff at McMurdo Station for logistical support during the 2007/8 Antarctic field season

National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA):

- The captains and crews of the of the RV Tangaroa and RV Kaharoa

University Museum of Natural History, Oxford University:

- Prof. Jim Kennedy

British High Commission, New Zealand:

- Chris Harrington, Philippa Norton and Ric Nye

Glassworks, Wellington, New Zealand:

- Grant Franklin

British Embassy, Copenhagen, Denmark:

- Mogens Olsen


Satellite imagery courtesy of Geoeye and NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Scientific Visualization Studio ( and

Ocean current animation courtesy of CSIRO, Australia, kindly animated at 1080p by Graeme Whittle.

One year computer weather simulation courtesy of the UK - Japan Climate Collaboration ( by R. Stockli & P.L. Vidale.

Global temperature data courtesy of Goddard Institute of Space Studies - GISTEMP Project (Dr James Hansen and Robert Schmunk)

Ice core record courtesy of NOAA Ice Core Gateway, Etheridge et al. 1996, Jouzel et al. 2007, Luthi et al. 2008, .

CO2 historical emissions data courtesy of Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC), .