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Lands of the Monsoon

Sundays at 18:00

About the show

Step into another world

The wildlife and cultures around southern Asia have been shaped by one of the greatest phenomena on earth: the monsoon winds that sweep across this vast region, turning drought into deluge. All life is dominated by this rampaging weather system.

From the northern shores of Australia to the highest peaks of the Himalayas, and from the wind-blown deserts of northern India, to the lush equatorial forests of Borneo, this series makes an exhilarating journey through the lands of the monsoon.

Along the way, it offers a taste of the variety and colour of the different regions' most extraordinary wildlife and cultures and the way they cope with the tumultuous weather.

This is the story of a relationship between humans and nature that has grown across thousands of years – all living in the shadow of the monsoon. But what does the future hold?

Facts

Many people think the term monsoon refers to heavy rains. But in fact, a monsoon is a seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing wind. And it always blows from cold to warm places.

Australia is home to some of the biggest storms in the world, which unleash energy equivalent to that of an exploding atomic bomb.

At the peak of the monsoon, 17 million tonnes of water fall on the Indian subcontinent every minute.

The English term monsoon is taken from the Arabic word 'mawsim', meaning a shift in the season or wind.

The monsoon can bring both welcome relief and complete devastation. In July 2010, Pakistan experienced huge floods caused by the monsoon season. Monsoon rains lasted for three days and high waters and mudslides caused catastrophic damage, directly affecting about 20 million people with a death toll of close to 2,000.

Rainfall is usually measured in millimetres. But during the monsoon, a metre of rain can fall in just a day.

About half of the world's population relies on the monsoon rainfall.

The most famous are the Asian monsoons, which affect India, China, Japan, and South East Asia. But monsoons also impact portions of central Africa, and lesser monsoon circulations affect parts of the United States.

Next on...

Episode 1, Series 1

Monday January 15 at 14:35

Bringer and Destroyer

Travelling from Australia to the peaks of the Himalayas, this episode offers a taste of the different regions' most extraordinary wildlife. 1/5

Episode 2, Series 1

Monday January 22 at 14:35

Deluge

The full force of the monsoon finally arrives and the drama unfolds as the weather front rampages across the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. 2/5

Episode 3, Series 1

Monday January 29 at 14:35

Drought

From the deserts of India, to the lush forests of Borneo and the northern shores of Australia, nature has to find a way to cope with dry seasons. 3/5

Episode 4, Series 1

Monday February 5 at 13:40

Isles of Plenty

Thousands of tropical islands sit at the centre of the monsoon system and are some of the most diverse places on earth. 4/5

Episode 4, Series 1

Tuesday February 6 at 06:00

Isles of Plenty

Thousands of tropical islands sit at the centre of the monsoon system and are some of the most diverse places on earth. 4/5

Episode 4, Series 1

Tuesday February 6 at 11:15

Isles of Plenty

Thousands of tropical islands sit at the centre of the monsoon system and are some of the most diverse places on earth. 4/5

Episode 4, Series 1

Saturday February 10 at 23:05

Isles of Plenty

Thousands of tropical islands sit at the centre of the monsoon system and are some of the most diverse places on earth. 4/5

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