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From Pole to Pole part 3 across the continents

The sun influences life in the oceans just as it does on land. Its richest parts are those where waves and currents bring fertilizing nutrients to surface waters that are bathed in sunlight. The seas off the Cape in South Africa have this magic recipe and are hugely productive. Summer is the time of plenty and it's now that the seals start to breed. The strike of a great white shark lasts a mere second. Slowing it down forty times reveals the technique and immense strength of this massive predator. If surprise fails, there will be a chase. The shark is faster on a straight course but it can't turn as sharply as the seal, its agility versus power. Once the seals have finished breeding the giant sharks will move on. It's now becoming clear that great whites migrate thousands of miles across the oceans to harvest seasonal abundances in different seas. The sun, beating down on tropical waters, powers the weather systems of the globe. Moisture evaporates from the warming ocean and rises to create great storms. The winds generated out at sea sweep inland across the continents. As they travel across the Sahara they create the biggest of all sand storms blowing sand halfway round the world to fertilize the Amazon jungle. Winds blowing across the Indian Ocean collect moisture and sweep northwards towards the Himalayas. As the air rises, so it cools. The water it carries condenses into clouds and then falls as the life giving rains of the monsoon. So air currents powered by the sun carry wet air to the middle of continents. Without water there can be no life, but its distribution over the land is far from even. Deserts cover one third of the land's surface and they're growing bigger every year. This is the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. It's the dry season and thousands of elephants have started to travel in desperate search for water. All across Southern Africa animals are journeying for the same reason. Buffalo join the great trek. Nowhere else on Earth are so many animals on the move with the same urgent purpose. They're all heading for the swamps of the Okavango, a vast inland delta. At the moment it is dry, but water is coming. The travelers are hampered by dangerous dust storms. Females and calves can easily get separated from the main herd. For this pair sanctuary lies in the patch of woodland a few miles ahead. They can't rest until they reach it. The main has already got there safely. Finally, the stragglers emerge from the dust. The exhausted calf is still blinded by sand.





 
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Planet Earth From Pole to Pole
Planet Earth From Pole to Pole
  2 energy on the sun
2 energy on the sun
  3 across the continents
3 across the continents
  4 into a fertile paradise
4 into a fertile paradise