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Thunderheads


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Product Details

  • Actors: na
  • Directors: na
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Smithsonian Networks
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0037A4IM6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,850 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

In a daredevil quest into the eye of the storm, an intrepid group of scientists, researchers and top-gun pilots - in seven planes and armed with the best high-tech gadgets money can buy - embark on a treacherous journey in a struggle to understand the role of thunderstorms in the global warming puzzle. In this spectacular documentary, an international force of 250 experts who comprise I.C.E. (the International Cloud Experiment) converge on Darwin, Australia, the lair of 'Hector,' one of the planet's largest thunderstorms. As the pilots perilously edge closer, they battle life-threatening turbulence, lightning, grapefruit-sized hail, microbursts, mysterious 'gravity waves,' mechanical mishaps ... and the scientists themselves. Tensions mount as the scientists push to solve the mysteries of the atmosphere and the pilots push back to stay alive. Is I.C.E. itself on the verge of a meltdown?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Thunderheads is one of the new-era documentaries that Smithsonian Networks is producing. Rather than playing canned footage spliced together with a voice-over as was typical of old school documentaries, they've taken a reality TV approach to documentary making, following real scientists in their quest for knowledge and discovery. Thunderheads chronicles the efforts of an international force of 250 experts (though the action is limited to a small number) who make up I.C.E. - the International Cloud Experiment.

Seeking to discover the correlations between thunderstorms and climate, scientists pair up with pilots to fly into the midst of the massive storms to be found in Darwin, Australia to put their high tech instruments and smarts to the test. With limited funding, and therefore a tight schedule, tensions run high between the scientists and pilots who struggle to understand the other side's perspective.

Though the team does succeed in gathering the data they are in search of, the documentary remains inconclusive as to what thunderstorms and their formation of ice crystals can teach us about climate change. The action included on Thunderheads represents only the beginning of a large-scale project - the data gathering stage. An additional three years of research are planned to analyze and examine the raw data. As such, the documentary is a bit of a cliffhanger, as it doesn't include any conclusive ending.

With a run time of 46 minutes, this is a documentary that's hard to resist for those with an interest in aircraft, meteorology, climate change, and science and weather in general. This cutting edge research introduces viewers to scientific concepts and technologies that the general public is typically unaware of.
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Format: DVD
Thunderheads: A Daredevil Quest into the Eye of the Storm is an exciting DVD following a bold group of scientists, researchers, and best-of-the-best pilots, equipped with state-of-the-art devices, in their quest to understand the role thunderstorms play in worldwide climate change and global warming. 250 experts put together I.C.E. (the International Cloud Experiment) and ventured to Darwin, Australia to study "Hector", one of Earth's largest thunderstorms. Their search for knowledge put them at odds with grapefruit-sized hail, microbursts, mechanical troubles, and the enigma of "gravity waves". An inexpensive yet extraordinary documentary, highly recommended especially for public library DVD collections. 47 minutes.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Older documentary but highly applicable today. Great production quality and very entertaining. Would like to know more about this project's outcomes from the data collected.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
ICE was held Jan. 21-Feb. 23 2006. Very interesting work with weather research. Viewers get to see some unusual aircraft. The US team is flying the Scaled Composites Proteus, the Russian team the M-55 Geophysica [NATO Mystic B](seen on the DVD cover), the German team the Falcon 20E, the UK team the Do-228-101, and the Australian team the Egrett G520T and Super Dimona HK36TTC. The Australian research ship RV Southern Surveyor is also a participant.
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