Planet Earth: A user's guide

In three lectures Chris, Helen and Tara reveal the hidden wonders of Earth that keep us all alive and explore the impact of human activity on our planet in the 2020 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

About this series

Our planet is travelling at 30km/s around our Sun, which is travelling at 250km/s around the centre of the Milky Way, which is zooming at over 2 million km/h into deep space.

The only reason we can survive this epic cosmic voyage is because Earth is equipped with everything we need to survive. Our home planet creates an endless supply of food, water and oxygen. It maintains a perfect temperature for our bodies and recycles our waste. It even shelters us from cosmic storms and asteroids on our dangerous journey through the universe.

In this year’s Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution, three expert scientists from different fields will present a unique ‘user’s guide’ to Planet Earth. They will unravel astonishing global systems and remarkable natural wonders that combine to keep life on Earth alive.

And then they’ll explore how human activity has become an overwhelming geological force – disrupting the finely tuned systems that have kept our planet running smoothly for billions of years. We’ll learn how we can each help repair the damage we’re doing and live more sustainably, as Earth’s population increases.

Each of these world-famous Lectures from the Royal Institution will bring to life one aspect of Earth’s inner workings:

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