Science and Nature

The Molecule That Made Us

H2O: The Molecule that Made Us is a landmark, three-part series that tells the human story through our relationship to water. We find out how our success is intimately connected to our control of the molecule, but that the growth of our civilizations has also created a dangerous dependence on a precious resource. One that may be about to run out.

Episode 3: Crisis

54m 36s

'Crisis' examines how the planet’s changing water cycle is forcing us to change our relationship with water. An increasingly, globalized agricultural industry is turning precious water reserves into profit, “mining” water faster than it can be replaced. As Chairman Emeritus of Nestle, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says, “.... the water issue is more urgent than the climate issue."

Episodes

  • Episode 3: Crisis: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 3: Crisis

    S1 E3 - 54m 36s

    'Crisis' examines how the planet’s changing water cycle is forcing us to change our relationship with water. An increasingly, globalized agricultural industry is turning precious water reserves into profit, “mining” water faster than it can be replaced. As Chairman Emeritus of Nestle, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says, “.... the water issue is more urgent than the climate issue."

  • Episode 1: Pulse: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 1: Pulse

    S1 E2 - 54m 36s

    'Pulse' opens on the rock and ice of Greenland, where geologist Stephen Mojzsis shares a new theory on how water first arrived on Planet Earth. See the world’s longest insect migration, and meet the Munoz family, who use cutting edge time-lapse rigs to show the rare spectacle of deserts around the world exploding from barren wastelands into rich carpets of flowers. But the pulse is under threat.

  • Episode 2: Civilizations: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 2: Civilizations

    S1 E1 - 54m 36s

    'Civilizations' turns our ‘water lens’ on human history. Starting in Ancient Egypt, it charts the critical role water plays in history, and around the world we see the birth of civilizations on the banks of the great rivers: Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, Indus and Yellow. We end by asking if we can guarantee water supplies of the future?

Extras + Features

  • Water is Life: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Water is Life

    4m 32s

    Geologist Stephen Mojzsis visits the Krafla Lava Fields, in Northern Iceland, and Isua, Greenland, and explains why life cannot exist without water, but he also shows us that the interplay between life and the atmosphere keeps earth at the perfect temperature – just right for liquid water. So, life has perpetuated the liquid water on the surface of our planet for geologic time.

  • Cenotes: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Cenotes

    5m 1s

    Camila Jaber, a free-dive champion, dives in a cenote, in the Yucatan, Mexico. A cenote is a small opening of underground water in the jungle. Here, where there is not a lake, river or stream for hundreds of miles, the water from a cenote could support whole cities.

  • The Foamy Rio Tietê: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Foamy Rio Tietê

    4m 40s

    Ecologist Greg Asner chases droughts, measuring the effects using 3-D maps. All over the Western Amazon, he's seeing huge loss in tree canopy. The mega-droughts in Brazil are damaging the rivers that fly above the forest and causing problems elsewhere. Because of the drought, there was not enough water to flush pollutants, like this toxic foam, out of the Rio Tietê.

  • Global Consequences of Drought: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Global Consequences of Drought

    5m 56s

    Geographer Troy Sternberg followed an unprecedented series of droughts that rippled across the globe from 2006 to 2011. From Australia to China to Russia and the Middle East, these droughts devastated farmers. And they directly impacted the price of wheat, which began to skyrocket. Follow the water to see the role drought can play in war, and in politics around the world.

  • H2O: The Molecule That Made Us - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    H2O: The Molecule That Made Us - Preview

    1m 47s

    H2O: The Molecule That Made Us is a 3-hour series from WGBH Boston. The film dramatically reveals how water underpins every aspect of our existence. Segments from across the planet, intimate documentary and natural history cinematography combine to uncover dramatic discoveries and compelling characters and deliver important stories about this mysterious molecule.

  • Episode 2: Civilizations - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 2: Civilizations - Preview

    30s

    'Civilizations' turns our ‘water lens’ on human history. Starting in Ancient Egypt, it charts the critical role water plays in history, and around the world we see the birth of civilizations on the banks of the great rivers: Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, Indus and Yellow. We end by asking if we can guarantee water supplies of the future?

  • Episode 1: Pulse - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 1: Pulse - Preview

    30s

    'Pulse' opens on the rock and ice of Greenland, where geologist Stephen Mojzsis shares a new theory on how water first arrived on Planet Earth. See the world’s longest insect migration, and meet the Munoz family, who use cutting edge time-lapse rigs to show the rare spectacle of deserts around the world exploding from barren wastelands into rich carpets of flowers. But the pulse is under threat.

  • Virtual Water: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Virtual Water

    2m 13s

    How much water does it take to get a tomato to your plate? Arjen Hoekstra calculates the water footprint of the products that you consume at home. The effect of the water footprint can be out of place out of mind, because the water comes from somewhere else; but, as this clip reveals, ignoring the impact we have on our water supplies can result in environmental disasters.

  • Extreme Flooding: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Extreme Flooding

    2m 59s

    Extreme rain and flooding today is four times more likely than it was forty years ago. Photographer Gideon Mendel has spent 12 years documenting floods all over the world. In this clip he travels to the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in the Carolinas. Gideon hopes that through his work he’ll make climate change more personal and make an impact on the conversation about the climate crisis.

  • Cracks in the Earth: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Cracks in the Earth

    2m 41s

    For tens of thousands of years, underground reservoirs across the world have been collecting water. In recent decades, humans have been pumping this groundwater far faster than it can possibly be replenished. Now, our demands on underground freshwater are outstripping supplies. The ground is sinking in places all over the world, and huge cracks in the earth’s surface are cropping up.

  • Episode 3: Crisis - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 3: Crisis - Preview

    30s

    'Crisis' examines how the planet’s changing water cycle is forcing us to change our relationship with water. An increasingly, globalized agricultural industry is turning precious water reserves into profit, “mining” water faster than it can be replaced. As Chairman Emeritus of Nestle, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says, “.... the water issue is more urgent than the climate issue."

  • Resurrection Plants: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Resurrection Plants

    2m 17s

    Resurrection plants aren’t dead; they just look dead. But add water, and these plants completely transform. There are 135 species in the world that can do this, and plant biologist Jill Farrant believes these plants could be the key to producing food security in the face of drought.

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