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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.
The Climate Wars
Dr Iain Stewart investigates the counter-attack that was launched by the global warming sceptics in the 1990s. At the start of the 1990s it seemed the world was united. At the Rio Earth summit the world signed up to a programme of action to start tackling climate change. Even George Bush was there. But the consensus didn't last.
Iain examines the scientific arguments that developed as the global warming sceptics took on the climate change consensus. The sceptics attacked almost everything that scientists held to be true. They argued that the planet wasn't warming up, that even if it was it was nothing unusual, and certainly whatever was happening to the climate was nothing to do with human emissions of greenhouse gases. Iain interviews some of the key global warming sceptics, and discovers how their positions have changed over time.
The Climate Wars
Fight for the Future
Having explained the science behind global warming, and addressed the arguments of the climate change sceptics earlier in the series, Dr Iain Stewart concludes the series by looking at the biggest challenge now facing climate scientists - Just how can they predict exactly what changes global warming will bring?
It's a journey that takes him from early attempts to model the climate system with dishpans, to supercomputers, and to the frontline of climate research today: Greenland. Most worryingly he discovers that scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that their models are actually underestimating the speed of changes already underway.
The Climate Wars
The Great Tide
A mighty army of dolphins, sharks, whales, seals and gannets hunt down the billions of sardines along South Africa's east coast each winter. This is the Sardine Run: an underwater Armageddon, the greatest gathering of predators anywhere on the planet, and the most spectacular event in the world's oceans. From intimate moments of the creatures caught up in the run, to the dramatic finale of this spectacular event, The Great Tide is an action-packed feeding-frenzy, filmed underwater, on the ocean's surface, and in the air.
However, in recent years the sardine run has become less predictable, perhaps due to the warming effects of climate change. If the sardine run does not happen, the lives of the animals caught up in the drama hang in the balance. Pioneering a unique boat stabilised camera mount for surface filming, Nature's Great Events crew capture all the high octane action as the predators compete for sardines, filmed with aerial, underwater and above water cameras. Super slow motion cameras also capture the very moment gannets plunge into the water, hitting it at sixty miles an hour.
A violent winter storm is the trigger for the sardines to begin their desperate dash. They are followed by a super-pod of 5,000 dolphins and further up the coast more predators gather. A shoal of sardines 15 miles long is pushed into the shallows and aerial shots show thousands of sharks gathering to feed on them. The climax to the sardine run is a spectacular feeding frenzy as the dolphins round the sardines up into balls on which all the predators feast. Gannets rain down in their thousands, sharks pile in scattering the fish and a Bryde's whale lunges in taking great mouthfuls of sardines.
Nature Great Events
George Harrison Living in the Material World
The Private Life of Plants
The Climate Wars
The Story of the Jews
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