Frozen Planet

You might … or might not be aware, but the BBC is currently showing a fantastic series called “Frozen Planet” by David Attenborough. If you do get a chance to watch, I highly recommend it …

TV ALERT: BBC 1 in the UK tonight at 9pm – Winter:  We join a female polar bear trekking into the Arctic mountains to give birth as the first blizzards arrive. Out on the frozen ocean, the entire world’s population of spectacled eider ducks brave the winter in a giant ice hole kept open by ferocious currents. Arctic forests transform into a wonderland of frost and snow – the scene of a desperate and bloody battle between wolf and bison, but also where a remarkable alliance between raven and wolverine is made. Beneath the snow lies a magical world of winter survivors. Here tiny voles dodge the clutches of the great grey owl, but cannot escape the ultimate under-show predator – the least weasel.

If in the UK you missed it, then you can catch up via the iPlayer.

OK … a couple of interesting things from it all.

Number of Episodes

They have made seven episodes and we (in the UK) get to watch seven episodes, but outside the UK, there is a strong chance you will only get to see six. The last Episode, “On Thin Ice”,  deals with climate change and captures on film the reality of what is happening … but apparently the BBC have decided that is too hot a topic (no pun intended) for some and so offer it as an optional extra.

Seriously!! … It is the most important challenge we face as a species, and here we have  evidence captured on film showing the reality of it, but they have decided to make that an optional extra.

Many environmentalists are ardent fans of the show for highlighting the fragile beauty of the natural world.

But there are those among them who believe the BBC has not taken the steps it might have done to warn viewers of the dangers the planet faces.

Harry Huyton, the head of climate change for the RSPB, said: “Selling Frozen Planet in two parts seems rather unhelpful because it suggests that it would be perfectly reasonable not to show the bit with the climate message.

“We would encourage the networks that haven’t bought the whole thing to think again and not to censor the issue.”

OK … moveing on, the other point I wanted to draw out was that we are seeing some amazing stuff.

We are being presented with astonishing Images never seen before

Astonishing images already broadcast include killer whales swimming in parallel to wash their prey off lumps of ice; icebergs larger than any manmade structure on Earth “calving” from the icecap; and the spectacular plumage of a reclusive great grey owl.

It was filmed over four years and is thought to have cost over £16 million to produce.

Tonight we get to see stuff that has never been captured on film and is quite unique. With timelapse cameras, specialists recorded salt water being excluded from the sea ice and sinking. The temperature of this sinking brine, which was well below 0C, caused the water to freeze in an icy sheath around it. Where the so-called “brinicle” met the sea bed, a web of ice formed that froze everything it touched, including sea urchins and starfish. The unusual phenomenon was filmed for the first time by cameramen Hugh Miller and Doug Anderson for the BBC One series Frozen Planet.

So tune in tonight folks … 9pm UK time …

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