Right now you're hurtling around the Sun at 100,000 kms an hour. Join Kate Humble and Dr. Helen Czerski as they explore the relationship between the Earth's orbit and the weather.

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 50 minutes

Premier: 2012-03-04

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey - Neolithic Subpluvial - Netflix

The Neolithic Subpluvial, or the Holocene Wet Phase, was an extended period (from about 7500–7000 BCE to about 3500–3000 BCE) of wet and rainy conditions in the climate history of northern Africa. It was both preceded and followed by much drier periods. The Neolithic Subpluvial was the most recent of a number of periods of “Wet Sahara” or “Green Sahara”, during which the Sahara region was much moister and supported a richer biota and human population than the present-day desert.

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey - Ecology - Netflix

[In] the highlands of the central Sahara Desert beyond the Libyan Desert,... in the great massifs of the Tibesti and the Hoggar, the mountaintops, today bare rock, were covered at this period with forests of oak and walnut, lime, alder and elm. The lower slopes, together with those of the supporting bastions — the Tassili and the Acacus to the north, Ennedi and Air to the south — carried olive, juniper and Aleppo pine. In the valleys, perennially flowing rivers teemed with fish and were bordered by seed-bearing grasslands.

North Africa enjoyed a fertile climate during the subpluvial era; what is now the Sahara supported a savanna type of ecosystem, with elephant, giraffe, and other grassland and woodland animals now typical of the Sahel region south of the desert, along with some now extinct megafauna such as Sivatherium and Pelorovis. Historian and Africanist Roland Oliver has described the scene as follows:

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey - References - Netflix