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Science
OCEANS: WHAT LIES BENEATH
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Thursdays 12 March to 2 April 2009 21.00-21.30

It is an often quoted fact that we know more about the surface of the moon then we do about life beneath the ocean waves. They make up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and remain the last great frontier of discovery on this planet.

In this epic four-part series, Gabrielle Walker looks at how little we understand the waters on which human life depends, and talks to the scientists who are making some extraordinary discoveries deep beneath the ocean waves.

Presenter Gabrielle Walker
Gabrielle Walker

Programme 1: Ocean Life

Gabrielle Walker talks to some of the world’s leading oceanographers about what they describe as a new golden age of oceanic discovery, and why we appear to understand so little about such a crucial part of our planet.

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.

Programme 2: The Deep

The deep ocean remains one of the least explored parts of our planet, but wherever scientists have been, in these dark, cold, inhospitable environments, they have found breathtaking and varied life.

Gabrielle meets the scientists who have ventured where so few have been before, and finds out why NASA have taken such an interest in life in the ocean abyss.

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.

Programme 3: Ocean Resources.

Could the cure for cancer or Parkinson’s disease lie hidden in the depths of the oceans?

Scientists are now trawling the ocean and its flora and fauna, for new compounds, chemicals and novel gene sequences that could provide biotech companies with a wealth of raw material from which to create new medicines.

Gold and other precious minerals are also being discovered on the ocean floor.

But with new and previously unexploited resources comes issues of rights, and over-plundering of our already damaged oceans.

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An ocean wave

Programme 4: Oceans and Climate.

Gabrielle investigates the complex interaction between oceans and our climate, and asks whether they hold the key to protecting us from the devastating effects of global warming.

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