Tonight at 10 PM, MSNBC will air the first installment of a four-part series on the environment, called “Future Earth.” Tonight’s episode, “Journey to the End of the World,” focuses on global warming’s effect on the Arctic. Most of the show is spent following the journey of an Arctic expedition onboard the ship Tara.

The preview is a bit doomsday-ish, but other clips from the show available on the website are more informative and less sensational. Subjects include the differences between working in the Arctic and the Antarctic, the nature of Arctic currents, and the slightly esoteric: how one explorer “never felt his eyeballs freeze.”

The clip posted below discusses what would happen if Greenland’s ice melted. The graphics at the end illustrating the flooding of cities like Shanghai are a little reminiscent of the end-of-the-world blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow.

The New York Times gives the show a fair review, while the Los Angeles Times was less kind. In any case, the show might be interesting to watch for its spectacular imagery – that is, actual video clips of things like the frozen Arctic sea and the aurora borealis, rather than hackneyed special effects.

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