Episodes

  • Around the world, warmer temperatures are creating a whole host of health challenges, and at our current state, researchers warn that climate change will affect every single stage of a child’s life.

    On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, Anwar Knight welcomes medical journalist, Dr. Amitha Kalaichandran, to give is a check up on how climate change is making us sick.

    "A warmer planet means more potential for death and illnesses related to higher temperatures. it means lower air quality, especially in densely populated areas. mosquitoes, ticks, and other carriers of infectious diseases can cover a wider geographic range and for a longer span of the year”, says Dr. Kalaichandran.

    From heat stress, to asthma, and even a possible link between air pollution and miscarriages, this episode gives you lots to think about. It’s an eye opening examination that ranges from personal health and well being, to the health care system that will be even more challenged to provide due to our changing planet.

  • A skilled team survived some of the most extreme conditions on earth to successfully install the highest weather stations in the world.

    The National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Expedition is believed to be one of the most comprehensive studies conducted on top of Mount Everest. Paul Mayewski, a Climate Scientist from the University of Maine, and the expedition's scientific leader says, “It’s the highest place on earth and perfect to investigate the potential impacts of climate change." According to researchers, Mount Everest is one of the few peaks tall enough to actually protrude into the South Asia jet stream, making it a perfect location to dip into snow, ice and air samples for measurements.

    While the research itself is just beginning - what did it take to get there? Carrying up all the gear, oxygen tanks, tents and supplies is no easy task - the ascent is a high-risk venture. How did they make the climb, what does the team hope to learn from it and what was the biggest risk that forced them to pull back? It's not a reason you might expect.

    I've got all those answers and more on this edition of the Big Blue Marble.

    www.NatGeo.com/Everest

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  • "Its the biggest story of our time and if these failures continue, journalists will be contributing to the deaths of millions.”

    With quotes like that, a journalism professor is making headlines of his own. Sean Holman, Associate Professor of Journalism at Mount Royal University, penned an open letter calling on the media to make immediate changes to their coverage of the climate crisis. The message has been shared thousands of times on social media, and comes with a warning to journalists - Holman believes they're failing when it comes to coverage of the climate crisis.

    Just, how should the media be covering the climate? And, at what point does society take responsibility for its own self awareness on what is unfolding?

    On this turn of the Big Blue Marble, our guest reveals his thoughts on the issue of climate change coverage and offers up a possible solution for the average Canadian. As a hint - your local burger joint will not be impressed!

    Be sure to let me your thoughts on this - and you'll never guess what the new owner of my old house did?! All the torrid details, on this episode of the Big Blue Marble.

  • How a warming planet is problematic for crime solving bugs

    They are as common as your ordinary housefly, but these insects have a different duty call – they love death.n Blow flies have the ability to smell a cadaver from over one kilometre away and are typically the first insects to arrive on the scene. The routine that they perform plays an important part in forensics. Crime scene investigators rely on forensic entomologists to determine approximate times of death by analyzing the blow flies on cadavers.

    Climate change, is forcing these insects to react. Christine Picard, Ph.D., is the Director of The Forensics and Investigative Sciences Program at the Purdue School of Science. According to the researcher, “All kinds of insects are moving north seeking more comfortable habitats including unwanted pests like ticks and mosquitoes. She adds, “Blow flies will either, adapt, move or die.”

    In their attempt to adapt, Picard’s team has discovered two species of blow fly that have migrated into what is uncharted territory for the winged creatures. What is raising alarm bells is that these particular species do not perform the same way as their native cousins - could this affect how crimes are solved in the future?

    Find out on this episode of The Big Blue Marble.

  • Scientists expected ice to melt in Greenland, but not to this extent, or this fast. An unprecedented heat wave triggered an epic ice melt, 50 years ahead of its expected time, in Greenland. Billions of tons of historic ice melted away causing a torrent of frigid ice water to etch a path as it made its way to the ocean. In one day alone, enough ice melted to fill over four million swimming pools. With nearly 70 per cent of earth's population living within 150 km of a coastline, the impacts of this melting trend is monumental.

    At the moment, Greenland is the biggest contributor to the rise of global sea levels - the big question is how fast and by how much? While the world waits for that answer - the current impact has been documented. Martin Stendel, a climate scientist from the Danish Meteorological Institute says, "The sea level has risen already by one cm in the last 15 years, from Greenland ice sheet melting alone.” Stendel has been recording the changes for years and believes that flooding is not the only concern. Stindel says that researchers are also looking at the consequences of these water flows in relation to the possibility of altering the global jet stream and active weather patterns.

    On this episode of The Big Blue Marble, we explore the cause, the effects and "if" Greenland's melting ice sheet has pushed us to the tipping point - that being a catastrophic unrecoverable change, with no turning back.

    As promised on the show, here is a list of ideas on how to engage your kids to help reduce carbon.

    Turn off the lights Close doors immediately so heat/AC does not escape. Walk or bike if you can (instead of having your parents drive you) Turn off your computer/iPad when not in use Take shorter showers Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth Make sure your tires are inflated Avoid idling in the drive thru – park and go inside Conserve paper – use both sides Donate/recycle old smartphones Pack litterless lunches Unplug your phone charger when not in use Plant a garden Buy local produce Plant a tree Bring your own shopping bag (the kids can decorate it)
  • Remember when you were a kid and a drive down a country road meant maneuvering through a cloud of insects. Now consider, when was the last time you had to clean bug guts off your windshield? It's often referred to as "The Windshield Phenomenon".

    Could this mean that some insects are on the verge of extinction? The question was bugging us, so we tracked down entomologist and insect ambassador, Tanya Latty for the answer along with some highlights of a recent insect study - the largest of its kind in world. It suggests an insect "apocalypse", with as much as a third of all insect species being threatened with extinction. “It’s really the case of the perfect storm – of a whole bunch of negative conditions making life really difficult for a lot of living things,” says Latty.

    Put down the fly swatter and tread softly - on this episode of the Big Blue Marble, we explore how insects are vital to our existence. From pollination to preventing us from drowning in our own waste, arthropods are threatened little super heroes that are crucial to our existence.