Iain travels into the stratosphere in a Cold War fighter, gets his eyebrows singed in Siberia and discovers why Argentina is one of the stormiest places on Earth. All to show why our atmosphere is unique and utterly crucial for life.
Volcanoes have a fearsome reputation. In reality, they are the most important force in the creation of the planet as we know it today. Iain abseils into a lava lake and cave dives in a cenote to show how the heat that fuels volcanoes also drives some of the most fundamental processes on the planet.
Ice may be nothing more than frozen water but, as Iain explains, it holds extraordinary power. Descending 150m down a frozen waterfall, he sees a glacier in action from below and discovers why the huge Jacobshaven glacier is retreating, he shows how it shaped our past and may now threaten our future.
The enduring luster of gold, the conductivity of copper, the strength of steel—the special properties of metals have reshaped societies and defined eras; they have such an important role in human history that entire ages have been named after them. But what gives metals their astounding characteristics? From the perfect ring of a bronze bell to the awe-striking steel construction of Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium, how have humans perfected metalworking? And how have metals enabled our modern hi-tech world? Explore the science of metals with chemists and engineers as they literally test the mettle of metals and investigate how these remarkable materials have ushered humanity from the Stone Age to the stars.
MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace and mathematician Dr Hannah Fry take over a restaurant and invite five special guests to enjoy a dinner party with a difference, where they will be scored on the carbon footprint of every dish they choose. Food accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, so making informed choices about what we eat is more important than ever. Diners Sara Pascoe, Amol Rajan, Nikki Fox, Desiree Burch and Matthew Fort choose from a menu of tantalising treats, each of which tells its own environmental story. But will they be able to sort the eco-goodies from the eco-nasties hidden in each course? Gregg is with the kitchen team preparing delicious dishes and uncovering tips and tricks we can all use to cook more sustainably. Hannah is working with environmental scientists to reveal the carbon footprint of every single item on the menu and uncovering the latest research that can help us enjoy the food we love that doesn't cost the Earth.
Can emerging technology defeat global warming? The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in clean energy projects as our leaders try to save our crumbling economy and our poisoned planet in one bold, green stroke. Are we finally on the brink of a green-energy "power surge," or is it all a case of too little, too late?