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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Whiteout can be found here.
After two years stationed at Antarctica's South Pole research base, lone U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is as anxious as anyone to be going home. She's turned in her resignation and is counting the hours and minutes to the last plane out. But three days before departure, a body turns up on the ice, and Carrie is immediately thrust into Antarctica's first murder investigation. As the death toll mounts, the mystery deepens with shifting loyalties, deadly whiteouts, and a relentless killer who will stop at nothing to protect a secret buried for over 60 years. Now with everyone around her packing up and getting out, Carrie must solve the crime before Antarctica is plunged into six months of darkness and she is stranded with the killer on a land where nothing comes in and no one gets out.
Whiteout is adapted from a 4-issue comic-book miniseries written by Greg Rucka with art by Steve Lieber, published by Oni Press in 1998. The story was collected as a graphic novel in 2001.
Much of the work at the station revolves around analysing core samples of ice. The Antarctic ice pack has been accumulating for millennia. As it accumulates, gas from the atmosphere is trapped in the ice. By drilling down into the ice and removing core samples, scientists can measure the composition of the atmosphere when the ice first formed. By examining other details of the ice, they can make judgements about temperature levels.
Because the ice has been compressed under tons of more ice for millennia, the gas trapped in the ice is extremely compressed. If you put the ice in room temperature water or liquor, this compressed gas escapes, making it look like it is boiling.
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