Earth: The Inside Story: Introduction (02:23)
The Earth is the sole planet in the solar system that possesses plate tectonics, oceans, continents, and sustains life. Scientists worry that it is facing a period of geologic upheaval. The big bang created the universe ten billion years ago; 4.567 billion years ago earth was formed. (Credits)
Moon Formation (02:08)
Theia, an object the size of Mars collided with Earth. Scientists discovered that moon rocks were similar in composition to earth rocks. Meteorites still collide with earth.
In Antarctica (02:37)
Geologists study the radioactive properties of chondrites to determine when the earth was formed. No rocks remain from the Hadean eon of the Earth. Abigail Allwood explains that zircon grains date back to 4.4 billion years ago.
Plate Tectonics (03:11)
Earth is the sole planet in the solar system that possesses plate tectonics. Mars cooled faster than earth. Liquid water came from magma after volcanoes erupted in the Earth's crust.
Creating Life on Earth (02:18)
Oxygen and minerals come from the interior of the Earth. Water and plate tectonics are essential to create life. Scientists discovered stromatolites in rocks dating back 3.5 billion years ago.
Were their Continents? (04:18)
Scientists discovered that continents existed four billion years ago. Simon Kemperer describes how mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones influence the theory of plate tectonics.
Subduction Causes Natural Disasters (03:02)
When an ocean plate collided with the North American plate, the Tohuku earthquake occurred. Subduction causes tsunamis and volcanoes to erupt.
Inside of Earth (04:00)
A solid inner iron core exists inside the fluid outer core which creates a magnetic field that protects the planet. Scientists recreated it in a laboratory using diamonds.
Sun Hot Heat (02:27)
The heat of the core travels through the mantle and the crust. Kemperer describes how plate tectonics maintains convection. The mantle has only circulated once in the history of the earth.
Volcanic Eruptions (04:19)
Rosaly Lopes explains how volcanoes may have created life on earth. Its eruptions brought CO2 and H2O to the earth's surface from the mantle. Because there is no plate tectonics on Mars, Olympus Mons can keep erupting for long periods.
Earth's Climate (02:09)
Earth maintains a relative comfortable temperature and climate. Venus contains too much carbon dioxide and Mars is frozen.
Snowball Earth (02:31)
Scientists theorized that ice covered the planet when all the continents amassed around the equator 650 million years ago. When CO2 levels dropped, the temperature descended. Volcanic eruptions returned carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and life grew into different species.
Life Disappeared (03:23)
Scientists believe 95% of life disappeared 250 million years ago due to volcanic activity in the Siberian Traps. Lopes describes how sulfur and carbon dioxide cooled the planet and killed off plant and animal life. Lynn Ingram describes how temperatures rose due to mid-ocean sea floor spreading; a meteorite impact ended the dinosaur age.
Mammals Evolved (04:01)
The Himalaya Mountains emerged creating monsoons and cooling the earth. Antarctica broke apart from Australia creating the Circum Antarctic Current. North America joining with South America caused the Gulf Stream.
Ice Ages (03:26)
During the Pleistocene epoch temperatures plunged. The Mayan civilization could have collapsed due to a major drought. Scientists study carbon dioxide in ice to determine past major climate changes.
Causing Earthquakes and Volcanoes (03:03)
The amount of volcanic eruptions has held steady. The number of earthquakes and tsunamis seems to have increased, but this is likely due to better detection and population growth.
Increased Geologic Activity (03:00)
Klemperer describes how the Earth's geological activity has not changed. A Supervolcano erupted at Yellowstone Park 640,000 years ago. Scientists can predict long term estimates of earthquake activity.
Earthquake and Tsunami Early Warning System (03:32)
Residents of Tokyo were warned eight seconds before the earthquake hit. Sendai heard tsunami warnings eight minutes before a 33 wave broke over the town. Scientists are improving volcanic eruption predictions.
Credits: Earth: The Inside Story (00:50)
Credits: Earth: The Inside Story
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