Lecture 1 – Engine Earth
In Lecture one of the 2020 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, geologist Chris Jackson shows us how the planet’s oldest rocks and fossils tell a story of radical climate changes throughout history and how the Earth’s finely balanced tectonic system – volcanoes – has controlled the level of carbon dioxide in the air. Now though, for the first time, humans are tipping this balance.
About the 2020 CHRISTMAS LECTURES
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 the 2020 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, three expert scientists from different fields presented a unique ‘user’s guide’ to Planet Earth. They unravelled astonishing global systems and remarkable natural wonders that combine to keep life on Earth alive.
And they explored 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.
Each Lecture brings to life one aspect of Earth’s inner workings.