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Going to Extremes

Going to Extremes is a four-part series in which writer, presenter and Oxford geography don Nick Middleton visits the world's hottest, coldest, wettest and driest inhabited places. He will visit Oymyakon in Siberia, where the average winter temperature is -47 degrees and 40 percent of the population have lost their fingers to frostbite while changing the car wheel. Next he travels to Arica in Chile where there have been fourteen consecutive years without a drop of rain and so fog is people's only source of water. From the driest to the wettest: Mawsynram in India which annually competes for the title with its neighbour Cherrapunji. However, Nick discovers that during the dry season there is water shortage and one entrepreneur has started selling it bottled! Finally his journey takes him to Dalol in Ethiopia known as the 'hell hole of creation' where the temperature remains at 94 degrees year round. Here Nick will join miners who work all day with no shade, limited water and no protective clothing. The book and series will consider how and why people lives in these harsh environments. How will Nick's body react to these contrasting extremes? He will look at the geographical and meteorological conditions. He will meet local characters and discover the history of these settlements to find out how they ever became populated. Nick will look at the way both the population, and the flora and fauna, have adapted physically to the climate, and also considers the psychological impact of living under such conditions. The series will also have an ecological aspect and will consider global climatic conditions. Nick Middletonis a geography lecturer at Oxford University, specialising in deserts and has written four travel books: The Last Disco in Outer Mongolia, Kalashnikovs and Zombie Cucumbers, Travels as a Brussels Scout and Ice Tea and Elvis. He
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