Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

NOVA: Arctic Drift

NOVA: Arctic Drift
Courtesy of GBH / NOVA
Join scientists on the most ambitious Arctic research expedition of all time. Facing hungry polar bears, perilous sea ice cracks, and brutal cold, the team strives to understand the forces that are changing the region — and the world — forever.

Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. on KPBS TV + Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

Journey to the top of the world with scientists as they embark on the most ambitious Arctic research expedition of all time. The Arctic – much of it a vast frozen ocean, shrouded in darkness for half the year – is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the globe.

Since the northern ice cap acts as a cooling system for the entire planet, its rapid melting is making the world warm faster, potentially disrupting weather patterns, ocean currents, and biodiversity. Yet because the Arctic is so inaccessible and inhospitable, establishing exactly what’s going on and forecasting its future have proven elusive.


In "Arctic Drift," NOVA takes viewers on a groundbreaking expedition that will bring vital new clarity to scientists’ predictions of global change. Experts from over twenty different nations join the voyage of the massive Polarstern icebreaker as it’s gripped by the polar ice and drifts for nearly an entire year.

From this unique research station, they can make long-term observations and perform experiments in unprecedented detail. But long hours in this harsh environment bring their own challenges, including hungry polar bears, perilous sea ice cracks, and equipment failure.

With spectacular cinematography and gripping personal stories, "Arctic Drift" follows scientists in their high-risk race against time to understand the Arctic before it changes our world forever.

NOVA: Arctic Drift: Preview

Watch On Your Schedule:


This episode will be available on demand concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Join The Conversation:

NOVA is on Facebook and Instagram. Follow @novapbs on Twitter. #NOVAnext

Explore all national, state and local returns now.