One of the Earth's most breathtaking landscapes, the Arctic perches atop of the world, looking down on international borders and human exploitation. (Well, for now it does) This week on One Planet, Richard Hollingham joins scientists from the Scottish Association for Marine Science on a ship from Svalbard into the Arctic ice. He investigates tiny life within the ice as scientists try to establish how important these micro-organisms are for absorbing carbon dioxide.

We also hear about the squabbles for the region's vast natural resources, and we try to spot some polar bears (without getting too close). Plus Richard offers a glimpse into life on an ice breaker vessel. We've a raft of extra material for you this week, including some beautiful pictures from the Arctic, take a look at our Flickr album.

Plus, we have the fourth part of our Open University series on your big environmental questions - this time asking whether climate change is really a problem for sociologists rather than scientists. As ever, tune in, have a listen and then let us know what you think. Email the team at oneplanet@bbc.co.uk, or join in the conversation on our Facebook page, the link's below.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 11 Jul 2010 22:30 GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project