Rising seas will be one of the biggest challenges we face in the next few centuries. Island states will disappear, coastlines will shift. On the basis of scientists‘ predictions, billions of dollars are being invested in coastal protection measures. But not everything can be protected.

The polar ice caps are melting and water is on its way. If all the ice in Antarctica and Greenland melted, the seal level would rise by over 50 metres. It’s like a sleeping giant that appears to be awakening. Rising sea levels will be one of the biggest challenges we face in the next few centuries. Not only small island states will disappear from nautical charts, countries on the mainland will also be affected. In some regions, the impact of sea level rise on society is already apparent. Economically important places are protected, less important areas remain unprotected and millions of people are being evacuated. States have to decide. Coastal protection systems cost billions. Scientists and their forecasts are crucial to investments, and just a few centimetres can decide on how billions of dollars are spent. But no scientist can predict exactly what will happen in the future. This film reveals not only the results of the latest research, but also the role scientists play in this whole complex. It shows how individual scientists cope with the burden of their responsibility. The film takes us to places where these conflicts are already reality. It reveals a billion-dollar business that promotes quite different interests. The megaprojects of Venice and Jakarta for example serve not only to protect coasts but also to generate enormous profits for individual actors. Coastal protection is evidently not just about keeping the hinterland dry. It’s also about making a lot of money.

Shooting locations: Germany / Baltic Sea, UK / London, Italy / Venice, Netherlands/Rotterdam, Indonesia/Jakarta and Semarang, USA / New York,


Science / Current Affairs
Length 52’ HD
Film by Alexander Dahl,  Max Moench
Co-Production MOBYdok with 3Sat and ZDFinfo
Original Title Meeresspiegel (working title)
In production, completion December 2019