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A new hothouse period is looming - and changing the Earth profoundly. Scientists are investigating what the future of our ecosystems might be like by reconstructing how plants and animals reacted during past hothouse periods. The documentary "Surviving Hothouse Earth: Plants and Animals" accompanies them on their search for clues. They discover that during an extreme global warming event 56 million years ago, vegetation zones shifted more than 1000 kilometres towards the poles, sequoias and gingkos grew in the Arctic, and rainforests spread across the south of today's Europe. Fossil finds reveal that mammals became physically smaller at that time. We could in fact be on the threshold of similar developments again today.