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The Sun

   2021    Nature
From the frozen poles to the searing deserts, this episode shows how animals have come up with strategies to survive the uneven amounts of sunlight that fall on our planet over the course of a year. The exception is on the equator, where the duration of day and night remain the same throughout the year. Here, this guaranteed sunlight drives the great diversity of life in the tropical jungles.
Series: A Perfect Planet

Volcanoes

   2021    Nature
Our planet is one in a billion. How incredible, awe-inspiring life is driven by its natural forces - and how we can ensure humans become a force for good. David Attenborough narrates a series revealing how the forces of nature drive, shape and support the Earth's great diversity of life.
The first edition examines volcanoes, which responsible for both for the planet's breathable atmosphere and the oceans, but are also the architects of the planet, with over 80% of the Earth's surface being the result of magma bursting up from the molten interior - providing a platform for life.
Series: A Perfect Planet

Battle Begins

       Nature
Global warming, and how to combat it, has provoked intense debate, changed the way we see the planet and created headlines around the world. But when and how did scientists first discover global warming, why has it led to such furious debate? In this three-part series geologist Dr Iain Stewart presents a definitive guide to the history of climate change.
Battle Begins uncovers some of the great unsung heroes of climate change science, and introduces us to a secret organisation of American government scientists, known as Jason, who wrote the first official report on global warming as far back as 1979. By the late 1980s global warming had already become a serious political issue. It looked as if the world was uniting to take action. But it turned out to be a false dawn.
Series: The Climate Wars

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Humboldt Epic Explorer

   2020    History
In 1799, the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt embarked on a perilous journey of discovery across South America. It would take him to the deepest jungle near the Orinoco and to the heights of the Andes. His aim was twofold: to conduct the first scientific survey of South America and to discover how the natural world actually works — at a time when most scientists believed that the world was created less than 6,000 years ago. He later became a leading scientific figure and champion of the abolitionist movement in the US.
This extremely visual docudrama follows Humboldt’s extraordinary path. Travelling in Humboldt’s footsteps is historian Andrea Wulf, whose book on Humboldt became a worldwide bestseller. For good reason, since Humboldt’s ideas on the planet’s fragile web of life are as important today as they were 220 years ago.
The Secret History of Writing
The Secret History of Writing

   2020    History
The Universe
The Universe

   2007    Science
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
The Toys that Made Us
The Toys that Made Us

   2017    Technology
Galapagos with David Attenborough
Galapagos with David Attenborough

   2013    Nature
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2015    Culture
Wonders Of The Universe
Wonders Of The Universe

   2011    Science