Earth: The Power of the Planet: Ice

Tuesday 4th December 21.00
2.6M viewers, 10.6% Audience Share
(Slot Average for Tues 21.00 = 2.16M viewers, 9% Audience Share)

Radio Times: I've worked out what worries me about Dr Iain Stewart, presenter of this stirring geography show. He's oddly reminiscent of The Thick of It's vicious spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker: the same Scottish accent and aquiline features. Except Stewart is far from vicious; he's unsettlingly nice, with a big toothy smile and a seemingly bottomless well of enthusiasm. And as it turns out, seemingly bottomless wells are a part of tonight's story, the wells hollowed out in glaciers by meltwater. No-one knows what happens at the far bottom of these rather beautiful holes, but whatever it is, the glaciers are melting at a rate of knots. To a geologist, that's nothing new. Ice has advanced and retreated across the Earth 50 times in its history, it seems, although in the great scheme of things it's unusual; for 90 per cent of Earth's history there was no ice around. When it was around, it shaped the landscape in huge ways, a story Stewart tells well.

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