03/20/2014 02:10 pm ET Updated Mar 20, 2014

HBO's 'Vice' Takes On Climate Change: 'It's The Single Greatest Problem Facing Humanity Today'

In the latest episode of HBO's documentary series "Vice," host Shane Smith travels to Greenland to see the effects of a warming planet firsthand. Smith told The Huffington Post he finds it "mind-blowing" how rapidly the country is changing.

Why is ice melt in Greenland accelerating? In part because dirty ice is darker than white snow, glaciologist Jason Box explains in the clip above, reflecting less sunlight and melting more quickly. Box is part of the Dark Snow Project, a scientific expedition researching the link between darkened ice in Greenland and soot from wildfires and industry elsewhere on the globe.

Later in the episode, Smith speaks with NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt, who explains that along with Greenland's ice sheets, other glaciers across the world are melting at a startling pace and contributing to sea level rise. Staving off the worst impacts of climate change means significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century.

Smith told HuffPost he thinks scientists are doing a bad job conveying the urgency of climate change to the general public. But he laid the blame squarely on those who fund climate change denial campaigns and manufacture doubt around the issue. "It's the most insidious thing I've ever heard," he said. "There's no one more evil."

Smith said he plans to continue discussing climate change in future seasons of the "Vice" series. "It's the single greatest problem facing humanity today."

Watch "Greenland Is Melting" on HBO on Friday, March 21 at 11 p.m. EDT.



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