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Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice

   2011    Science
Sir David Attenborough journeys to both Polar Regions to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet. David starts out at the North Pole, standing on sea ice several metres thick, but which scientists predict could be Open Ocean within the next few decades. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global average, so David heads out with a Norwegian team to see what this means for polar bears. He comes face-to-face with a tranquilised female, and discovers that mothers and cubs are going hungry as the sea ice on which they hunt disappears. In Canada, Inuit hunters have seen with their own eyes what scientists have seen from space; the Arctic Ocean has lost 30% of its summer ice cover over the last 30 years. For some, the melting sea ice will allow access to trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas and minerals. For the rest of us, it means the planet will get warmer, as sea ice is important to reflect back the sun's energy. Next David travels to see what's happening to the ice on land: in Greenland, we follow intrepid ice scientists as they study giant waterfalls of meltwater, which are accelerating iceberg calving events, and ultimately leading to a rise in global sea level. Temperatures have also risen in the Antarctic - David returns to glaciers photographed by the Shackleton expedition and reveals a dramatic retreat over the past century. It's not just the ice that is changing - ice-loving adelie penguins are disappearing, and more temperate gentoo penguins are moving in. Finally, we see the first ever images of the largest recent natural event on our planet - the break up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, an ice sheet the size of Jamaica, which shattered into hundreds of icebergs in 2009.
Series: Frozen Planet

Hiroshima 2 of 2

   2005    Technology
It was the defining moment of the 20th Century - the scientific, technological, military, and political gamble of the world's first atomic attack. This drama-documentary attempts to do what no other film has done before - to show what it is like to live through a nuclear explosion, millisecond by millisecond. Set in the three weeks from the first test explosion in New Mexico to the eventual dropping of the bomb, the action takes viewers into the room where the crucial political decisions are made; on board the Enola Gay on her fateful voyage; inside the bomb as it explodes; and on the streets of Hiroshima when disaster strikes. Parallel storylines interweave, unfolding the action from both US and Japanese perspectives, and revealing the tensions and conflicts in the actions and minds of people who were making history. Special effects recreate the reality of the mission - even going inside the workings of the bomb - and archive film replays the horrific aftermath.
Series: Hiroshima

Race For Satellites

   2005    Technology
During 1953-1958, as the Cold War intensifies, Korolev is asked to build a rocket capable of carrying a five-ton warhead to America - he designs and constructs the R-7 Semyorka, and is later allowed to use it to launch the first satellite, Sputnik 1. Meanwhile, von Braun struggles to persuade the US government to allow him to launch his own satellite - after Sputnik's launch and the failure of the US Navy to launch a Vanguard satellite, he is finally allowed to launch the first American satellite, Explorer 1.
Series: Space Race

The Jungles

   2011    Culture
The rainforest is home to more species of plants and animals than any other habitat on the planet. But for humans, life there is not as easy as it looks. Life in the trees requires great skill, ingenuity and sheer bravery. The Matis of Brazil carve 4-metre-long blow-pipes to hunt monkeys - in near total silence. Deep in the Congo forests, Tete defies death by scaling a giant tree using nothing more than a liana vine, and he must then negotiate an angry swarm of bees - all to collect honey for his family. Three children from Venezuela's Piaroa tribe venture deep into the jungle to hunt tarantulas - to toast for lunch! In West Papua the Korowai tribe show-off their engineering skills by building a high-rise home 35 metres up in the tree tops. Most memorable of all, in Brazil we join a unique monitoring flight in search an un-contacted tribe...
Series: Human Planet

The Mastery of Flight

   1998    Nature
The second programme deals with the mechanics of flight. Getting into the air is by far the most exhausting of a bird's activities, and Sir Attenborough observes shearwaters in Japan that have taken to climbing trees to give them a good jumping-off point. The albatross is so large that it can only launch itself after a run-up to create a flow of air over its wings. A combination of aerodynamics and upward air currents (or thermals), together with the act of flapping or gliding is what keeps a bird aloft. Landing requires less energy but a greater degree of skill, particularly for a big bird, such as a swan. Weight is kept to a minimum by having a beak made of keratin instead of bone, a light frame, and a coat of feathers, which is maintained fastidiously. The peregrine falcon holds the record for being fastest in the air, diving at speeds of over 300 km/h. Conversely, the barn owl owes its predatory success to flying slowly, while the kestrel spots its quarry by hovering. However, the true specialists in this regard are the hummingbirds, whose wings beat at the rate of 25 times a second. The habits of migratory birds are explored. After stocking up with food during the brief summer of the north, such species will set off on huge journeys southwards. Some, such as snow geese, travel continuously, using both the stars and the sun for navigation. They are contrasted with hawks and vultures, which glide overland on warm air, and therefore have to stop overnight.
Series: The Life of Birds
The Art of Germany
The Art of Germany

   2010    Art
Invisible Worlds
Invisible Worlds

   2010    Science
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

   2016    History
History of the World
History of the World

   2012    History
Human: The World Within
Human: The World Within

   2021    Medicine
Art of Spain
Art of Spain

   2008    Art