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Climate Change in the Arctic & around the globe

Nuclear catastrophe and the climate

I have been following with increasing concern the developments in Japan. In between trying to keep up with what’s happening and interviewing experts, I went to the studio to record a story planned earlier for this week’s Living Planet programme on how the Arctic can be seen as an early warning system for the global climate. Clearly, the risk of a huge radiation disaster is overshadowing everything else at the moment – including a worrying press release I received from the Alfred Wegener Institute for polar and marine research about a huge ozone hole over the Arctic.
I find myself wondering what effect events in Japan will have on the ever-pressing need to reduce emissions to try to slow down climate change. The engineeer working with me in the studio on the Arctic piece surprised me by saying “the disaster in Japan should make sure there is more attention put on these climate stories”. I had been thinking to myself it would probably distract attention from the climate debate, although it could have one positive side-effect if it means more resources going into safe alternative sources of energy. Maybe I have been getting caught up too much in technical details. For the young man in the studio, climate change and a nuclear disaster have one thing in common: they pose a threat to the future of the planet. Good food for thought. Thanks PK4 this pm.


March 15, 2011 | 4:52 pm