2018 | United States | Documentary

Acid Horizon

  • 64 mins
  • Director | Ivan Hurzeler
  • Producer | Paul Biedrzycki, Kurt Langer

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Climate change is changing the chemistry of the Earth's oceans as man-made carbon dioxide filters down into the seas, causing Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification has caused mass extinctions in the Earth's past, and could destroy the largest habitat on Earth - the deep sea. Dr. Erik Cordes believes a species of deep sea coral may hold secrets to survival in an acidic future. Erik embarks upon a dangerous voyage to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on the Research Vessel Atlantis and diving in the Alvin Submersible. He's getting closer to finding the 'Supercoral'... But is he too late to make a difference?

Acid Horizon follows marine ecologist Dr. Erik Cordes on a harrowing deep-sea expedition to track down the “supercoral,” a strain of the deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa that seems to possess the unique genetic capability to thrive in a low-pH ocean. The film will make its World Premiere at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film’s protagonist Dr. Cordes, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Biology at Temple University, explains: “Our research has shown that some coral colonies - the “Supercorals” - do better than the rest when challenged by ocean acidification. This film delivers that message through an intimate story and an epic adventure. It is essential that this story is told so that people are aware of this hidden threat, but also understand that there is hope and still time to take action.” The film is the first feature by director Ivan Hürzeler, who said “Acid Horizon is a story about finding hope in the darkest of places. From 3000 feet below the waves, in crushing pressure and cold, Erik and his remarkable colleagues are fighting for our survival in an uncertain future. The movie puts a human face on the complex science and superhuman effort against climate change.” The film was primarily funded by a grant from Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, a division of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Family Foundation. Initial funds were raised through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013. Acid Horizon also features an original score by Philip Manley.

climate change chemistry ocean