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The World Set Free

   2014    Nature
This episode explores the nature of the greenhouse effect (discovered by Joseph Fourier and Svante Arrhenius), and the evidence demonstrating the existence of global warming from humanity's influence. Tyson begins by describing the long-term history of the planet Venus; based on readings from the Venera series of probes to the planet, the planet had once had an ocean and an atmosphere, but due to the release of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions, the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus caused the surface temperatures to increase and boiled away the oceans. Tyson then notes the delicate nature of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can influence Earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect, and that levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing since the start of the 20th century. Evidence has shown this to be from mankind's consumption of oil, coal, and gas instead of from volcanic eruptions due to the isotopic signature of the carbon dioxide. The increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperatures, in turn leading to positive feedback loops of the melting polar ice caps and dethawing of the permafrost to increase carbon dioxide levels. Tyson then notes that humans have discovered means of harvesting solar power, such as Augustin Mouchot's solar-driven motor in the 19th century, and Frank Shuman's solar-based steam generator in the 1910's. Tyson points out that in both cases, the economics and ease of using cheap coal and oil caused these inventions to be overlooked at the time. Today, solar and wind-power systems would be able to collect enough solar energy from the sun easily. Tyson then compares the motivation for switching to these cleaner forms of energy to the efforts of the Space race and emphasizes that it is not too late for humanity to correct its course.
Series: Cosmos 2014

Human Universe: What is our Future

   2014    Technology
Professor Brian Cox concludes his exploration of humanity's place in the cosmos by examining what the future holds. In Florida, he learns about the latest efforts to protect Earth from potential catastrophic events and joins a team of Nasa astronauts who are in a submerged laboratory that simulates space as they train for a future mission to an asteroid - should one ever be discovered heading to Earth. At the National Ignition Facility in California, the physicist witnesses the world's most successful fusion experiment in action, one which he believes may unlock a way to the stars that will not destroy the planet in the process.
Series: Human Universe

Great Cathedral Mystery

   2014    Art
The dome that crowns Florence's great cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo, is a masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. Still the largest masonry dome on earth, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty and weighs as much as an average cruise ship. Historians and engineers have long debated how its architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, kept the dome perfectly aligned and symmetrical as the sides rose and converged toward the center." More than four million bricks could collapse at any moment -- and we still don't understand how Brunelleschi prevented it. To test the latest theories, a team of U.S. bricklayers will help build an experimental "mini-Duomo" using period tools and techniques.

Playing with Nuclear Fire

   2014    Technology
Playing with Nuclear Fire' - In March 2011, the Tohoku earthquake in Japan created a tsunami that killed some 16,000 people and crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the aftermath, the government and TEPCO, the plant's operator, withheld information about the extent of the damage. Three years later, citizens and the international community are left wondering if Japan really does have the situation under control, as the government is insisting, or if the danger is far greater than anyone is willing to admit. 'No Man Left Behind' - It's estimated that over a quarter million vets from recent wars have sought treatment for PTSD. Despite these statistics, veterans often face an uphill battle to get treatment, receiving inadequate attention and, most dangerously, overprescribed narcotics and other pharmaceuticals. Ryan Duffy meets veterans struggling with mental illness and addiction.
Series: Vice

Man on Mars Mission to the Red Planet

   2014    Technology
Let's go behind the scenes at NASA to discover how it is preparing for its most ambitious and daring mission: to land men - and possibly women - on the surface of Mars. It's over 40 years since Neil Armstrong made the first human footprint on the moon. But getting to the red planet would involve a journey of at least three years. Meet the scientists and engineers who are designing new rockets, new space suits and finding ways to help astronauts survive the perils of this long voyage. And it turns out that having the 'right stuff' for a mission to mars might not be quite what you expect.
Ancient Aliens
Ancient Aliens

   2014    Culture
Conversations with Dolphins
Conversations with Dolphins

   2016    Science
Wild Russia
Wild Russia

   2009    Nature
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2018    Science
The Story of India
The Story of India

   2007    History
Frozen Planet
Frozen Planet

   2011    Nature
The Germanic Tribes
The Germanic Tribes

   2007    History