Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thin Ice Climate Movie

There is a movie, released late last year, that discusses the scientists involved in climate change research. It is called Thin Ice. You can see the trailer and rent the movie ($8 for seven days of access) at the website, You can also download it or purchase it outright. It is about 73 minutes long.

The premise of the movie is that, for the first time in the life time of producer Simon Lamb, scientists are under attack. Global change deniers are making all sorts of accusations about the climate change science and the people involved  in the research. So, Lamb, a geologist himself, decided to make this movie where he goes around the world and meets the scientists themselves to address the question, are they committing some kind of fraud?

It is a well-done movie and allows the scientists to speak for themselves. I am sure the deniers will still be deniers, but this is one more piece of evidence that they are wrong. This movie shows very clearly that the scientists are not committing any kind of fraud.

Some of the scenes are so good I wish I could use them in the classroom. For instance, they give a very nice demonstration of how effectively CO2 absorbs infrared radiation. They train a telescope on the Sun and measure the light spectrum collected. Then, they do the measurement again, except they blow CO2 in front of the telescope as they are taking the measurements. There graphs show a very significant decline in infrared radiation getting through to be measured.

There is a another part where they discuss the physics of greenhouse gases that is one of the most clear and precise explanations I have ever heard. I was very impressed at how well the scientists were able to communicate the complex science in a way any one could understand.

His conclusion? There was no hoax. The scientists were meticulous in their efforts to collect data without contamination and were open-minded about their conclusions. This, he said, was science at its best.

I find that to be very comforting.


  1. I was considering buying the movie, so I was doing research on the film, when I stumbled on your post. I really enjoyed your insight, and I am definitely going to rent the film. Thanks :)