Introduction: Earth - the Power of the Planet (01:55)
Iain Stewart will examine the four powerful forces that created the world: volcanoes, oceans, ice, and the atmosphere. (Credits)
Stewart ascends a frozen waterfall in the Alps. The Argentiére, one of the largest in France, formed over thousands of years. Avalanches occur annually; glaciers contain layers of compressed snowfall.
An ice sheet larger than the continental United States is so thick that only nunataks are visible. Winds carve dunes of ice; Antarctica is the biggest and driest desert on Earth. Lake Vostok lies beneath almost two miles of ice.
Living in an Ice Age (02:53)
For approximately 90% of its history, Earth has had no ice. Stewart describes how a collision between North and South America created the Gulf Stream.
Ice Shapes the Plant (08:38)
Leo Holding explains why El Capitan is one of the toughest mountains to climb. The rock face is nearly polished after years of glacial activity. Stewart explains how glacial deposits affect the Manhattan skyline.
Svartisen Glacier (06:38)
A network of tunnels allows inner access to the glacier. Miriam Jackson studies how ice contours rock by melting a portion of ice with hot water. Glaciers engulf rocks and carve valleys.
Cataclysmic Event (07:05)
Images reveal the ice flows of the Malaspina and Lambert glaciers. The breaking of an ice dam at Lake Missoula causes a flood that creates the Channeled Scablands.
Iceberg Alley (03:34)
In Greenland, Stewart examines icebergs—chunks of glacier that fall from the ice sheet. The North and South Poles reflect light and heat, influencing the planet's climate.
Human Evolution (01:55)
Significant events include the appearance of an ape-man with a larger brain and the evolution of Homo Erectus. Ice sheet growth or recession causes extreme conditions.
Greenland's Ice (10:35)
The Jakobshavn Glacier has retreated six miles. If Greenland's ice melts, populated regions around the world will flood. Konrad Steffen uses a camera developed by NASA to study how moulins affect the glacier.
Ice Loss (04:03)
The Columbia Glacier has lost nearly 50% of its mass in the last 20 years. Glaciers are shrinking all over the world. The disappearance of ice will transform the planet.
Credits: Earth - the Power of the Planet: Ice (00:31)
Credits: Earth - the Power of the Planet: Ice
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