The US Navy nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter is attacked by a mysterious underwater object that stalks and disables the Seawolf-class super-sub with a powerful electromagnetic pulse. The underwater Arctic research complex Hubris witnesses the attack and reports a rapid rise in the temperature of the Polaris Trench which threatens to melt the ice cap and flood the world's land surface. At an emergency United Nations scientific conference, Hubris director Dr. Ann Fletcher is dismissed when she urges caution and her archrival Dr. Chomsky pushes through a far more aggressive plan to deal with the crisis. When Chomsky's plan fails and contact with the Hubris complex lost, Dr. Fletcher is asked to participate in a follow-up expedition, which also includes Chomsky, by her ex-husband, Navy Captain Andy Raines. Once at the North Pole, the expedition finds that the Hubris complex is completely intact, but its personnel have been incinerated. Dr. Fletcher makes a startling discovery that could change the fate of the world while Dr. Chomsky has a secret that could end it!