Oceans, Atmosphere, Ice and Volcanoes. The superlative Forces that drive our Climate, give us protection, feed us and ultimately destroy us! A tour around the World with Iain Stewart to understand the mechanisms of these powerful 'Engines' and their effects in Earth's Life.
"Earth, the Power of the Planet" is divided in four Programs and two Discs:
Disc One: Volcanoes, Atmosphere and Ice.
Disc Two: Oceans and Rare Earth.
Volcanoes. A journey through Carbon Dioxide, its relationship with the other 3 Elements and Us.
As a Volcanologist, Stewart starts in Ethiopia Afar Region, the home of Erta Ale one of the important Volcanoes being studied for 40 Years. Its huge Crater of constant molten Lava, holds the key to Science understanding the movements of the Planet's Crust. Mount Etna in Sicily and Mount St. Hellen in the USA are also under the Eye of Scientists for reasons well explained.
He continues through Iceland another important geological Place, New Zeeland, European Alps, South American Andes and the Hymalayas, all, the result of Continent collisions billions of years ago.
The Atmosphere. With the right ingredients and conditions it can be an explosive mixture! In normal conditions, it's the thin Line that protects us! Amazing examples in South Africa, Sahara, Argentina and in the Air!
Ice. The Mirror of Clime changing! Some experiences in Siberia show worrying signs of Permafrost melting. Enormous amounts of Methane is trapped in the Ice, and the release of this Gas in a massive scale into the Atmosphere has still unknown consequences! The retreating of Ice is another problem. The massive Jacobshavn Isbrae Glacier ( West Coast of Greenland ), has retreated 10km over the last 10 years and Columbia Glacier in Alaska, 15 km since 1980. The reason is, these and other Glaciers are speeding up towards the Sea. Scientists don't know why but there's something we all know: Sea level rising is already happening! The Planet doesn't mind but, it won't be the same with Us.
The Oceans. A complex system of currents ( the Conveyor ) linking the entire Planet, provide vital sources of Nutrients, Energy and Oxygen. Birth of Early Life, they drive Weather Systems and keep Earth habitable. Interesting examples of this in Amazon, Hawaii, Australia, USA and the Mediterranean Sea.
Rare Earth. A Picture of this fantastic World! Its unique position in Solar System, right distance from the Sun, exclusive and apropriate Moon, remarkable protection of a massive Jupiter and Human Kind 'threatning' Its stability!
"How Earth Made Us" is an extension of the first four Programs, and Stewart speaks about the next 5 Forces that rule Life also compiled in two Discs: Water, Deep Earth, Wind, Fire and Human Planet.
A descent into the deepest tough hidden Places on Earth and a relationship betwen Elements and Civilizations. A Lesson of History very well written, presented and filmed.
Computer Digital Technology and Satellite images are very helpful.
Iain Stewart is brilliant! Geologist, Professor and Explorer, he stands before us with a Big Book of Earth's entire History in his hands! His explanations are clear enough for everyone to understand him. His presence is everywhere! On Land, beneath the Ice, underwater, underground, in the Air, and it's a very pleasant and funny experience to travel with him!
The Extras are resumed to a short interview with him, speaking about the three most frightning experiences he went through.