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Atmosphere • episode "2/5" Earth: The Power of the Planet

Category: Environment
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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.

Earth: The Power of the Planet • 5 episodes •

Volcano

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.

Environment

Atmosphere

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.

Environment

Ice

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.

Environment

Oceans

Travelling from Hawaii to the Amazon and Ethiopia and then on to the Mediterranean, Iain tells the story of the oceans – fierce waves, huge tidal bores, global currents and the future dangers of global warming.

Environment

Rare Earth

Iain looks at the big picture of Earth's place in space. It's taken four and a half billions years and several great catastrophes to turn it from a barren rock to the unique planet we know today.

Environment

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Part 3

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Fukushima: Is Nuclear Power Safe?

Six months after the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant and the release of radiation there, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to discover whether nuclear power is safe. He begins in Japan, where he meets some of the tens of thousands of people who have been evacuated from the exclusion zone. He travels to an abandoned village just outside the zone to witness a nuclear clean-up operation.

Environment

Norway: Return to the Duck Islands

In the Vega Archipelago, in the north of Norway at the Arctic Circle, people have formed a unique partnership with wild eider ducks. The provide the birds with shelter in hatcheries, and in return, after the breeding season, collect the precious eiderdown, with which the ducks line their nests.

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Eurasia

Two hundred million years ago the continent we know as Eurasia - "the vast swathe of land that extends from Europe in the West to Asia in the East" - didn't exist.

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As scientific studies confirm sea level changes throughout the globe, major coastal cities like Miami are now fighting back against these rising tides, before it's too late. Parts of Miami Beach are under serious threat, with major economic and social dangers looming large.

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