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Due to 70% of the earth’s surface being covered in water, it is bound to play a massive part in the earth’s history and future, but whilst it is a life giver, it can also form part of a double edged blade.
This episode displays the effects that water has had on this planet, including gorges, and rivers including both destructive, and helpful aspects of the flow of water. It looks at the importance of water in shaping earth’s landscape, as well as the survival of civilization. Formations like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls are used as extreme examples, among the many others described and explained. Ice is also observed and its powerful effects on the landscape, as well as the survival of the planet, talking about the use of ice in the erosion of rock as well as its effect on the sea levels. Floods and Tsunamis are documented using many case studies from around the world, going into the causes and effects both human and natural of these powerful surges of water. We are shown that above all the earth’s story is about change, and given details about waters effect on earths atmosphere.
It is thought that water arrived on the surface of our planet thanks to two major processes. The early planet was almost constantly erupting; this process released water vapor from the molten material below the earth’s outer crust. Vapor collected in the early atmosphere, gradually forming cloud. At the same time Earth was being bombarded by a series of asteroids, many of which contained stores of water. As they crashed into the earth yet more water vapor was released to join the cloud layer. Eventually the air became saturated and the earth’s first and longest storm began. It is thought that the downpour of rain lasted for a million years, flooding much of the planet. Indeed when the rain eventually eased 90% of the planet was covered by water. It’s less now, but water remains concentrated in the oceans that still dominate our planet.
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