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NOVA; Cracking The Ice Age


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Cracking The Ice Age
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

This episode explores a new path of inquiry into the cause of the Ice Age. Since the planet formed about 4.5 billion year ago, the climate has been predominantly hot, the land covered with lush, tropical rainforest. No ice existed on the planet, even at the poles. 40 million years ago, so much ice formed that the sea level dropped 400 feet. Previously it had been thought that changes in the earth's orbit accounted for the Ice Age. But as scientists continue to look for the cause of such an abrupt cooling of the earth, they have begun to look toward geological explanations. This program follows a team of scientists to the Tibetan plateau as they look for answers in the Himilayan mountains, the earth's most prominent geological formation.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Cracking The Ice Age,” 10/31/1996, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed May 25, 2020, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4A1A5CF11EC14E41A5A16014E314309D.
MLA: “NOVA; Cracking The Ice Age.” 10/31/1996. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. May 25, 2020. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4A1A5CF11EC14E41A5A16014E314309D>.
APA: NOVA; Cracking The Ice Age. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4A1A5CF11EC14E41A5A16014E314309D
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