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  • Ticks are on the move, going to places they have never been recorded before - due to our warming planet. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, it's all tick talk, including where the tiny creatures will most likely "latch" on to you, how fast they are spreading and what to do if you've been bitten.

  • As researchers around the world work to develop a viable stop to the spread of COVID-19, ecologists say it's time they are heard - the pandemic was anticipated. “When we destroy habitats, erode biodiversity because of all the things humans do to the environment we are creating conditions that allow certain species to thrive that are most likely to give us zoonotic diseases." says Felicia Keesing, ecologist and educator at Bard College in Annandale, New York. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, host Anwar Knight helps connect the dots on how the virus evolved and along with Keesing, explores the intricate relationship between animals, biodiversity and the important role that people play in preventing the next pandemic. “It's not just humans that are all in this together, every living thing on this planet is struggling with this and the environmental challenges with the dominance of humans on the earth”.

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  • Unwind, connect with nature and improve health with the scientifically proven benefits of forest bathing. The ancient Japanese practice of "Shin Rin Yoku" can help reduce blood pressure, stress levels and pulse rate. In the midst of this unprecedented chaos, this may be just the thing we all need right now.

    "We have nurtured ourselves to be in an incessantly low level state of fight or flight. Our nervous systems, our bodies were not designed to be in that constant state of stress, and it's bad for us," says David Motzenbecker, a certified forest therapy guide.

    On this episode of The Big Blue Marble we take a calming walk through the woods to discover just how easy it is to see and feel the remarkable benefits of forest bathing.

  • Millions of children and teens around the world have rallied in support of the Climate Strike movement started by Swedish teen, Greta Thunberg. For some, these protests are an opportunity to take control and express feelings of anger, fear and despair as the threat of an uncertain future on earth causes distress in many. These stressors are appearing more pervasive in youths than most adults realize.

    Climate change and mental health researcher, Dr. Katie Hayes, says that, "Children and youth are seeing the state of climate devastation with eyes wide open, and they are are also seeing slow action to really address the issue. For many youth, its feelings of worry, sadness and they are struggling with optimism.” Thankfully, there is hope, says Dr. Hayes, "Climate change and mental health is an all hands on deck issue, it can’t be done by one person, one parent, one school, one doctor and increasingly we are seeing the tools to support professionals."

    On this episode of The Big Blue Marble, we explore the prevalence of eco-anxiety in kids, and most importantly, how we can support them, including resources that offer help.

  • You may not see it, but a strong and silent killer is just a breath away.

    What's worse, millions of people contribute to creating one of the most significant sources of not only air pollution, but also greenhouse gases, daily. Your car ride into work is generating minute particles of poison, and pending your "rush hour'', you are likely strapped into a sea of it.

    "We look at Bejing or Delhi smog and think that’s air pollution, in fact, invisible smog can be just as dangerous and cause thousands of death." says Tim Smedley, environmental journalist and author. According to the World Health Organization, one third of all deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are caused by air pollution. "Anywhere in the world, where there is stuff being burned, whether that's fuel in an engine or solid fuel in a fire, that's causing air pollution that is dangerous to our health," adds Smedley.

    This episode of The Big Blue Marble may have you rethinking your commute, or throwing another log on that cozy looking wood-burning stove. That, plus you are guaranteed to have a different perspective on the many ships at sea. Join me as we set sail for another trip around the Big Blue Marble.

  • Stories of badly injured, traumatized and dehydrated, Australian wildlife have captured attention the world over. Weeks after news of the devastation broke, animal rescue teams continue to do what they can to save animals from record-breaking fires across the island continent.

    Fueled by a warming planet, unprecedented summer heat and parched outback, there was an inferno of chaos and destruction, never before seen in the world. What is perhaps most disturbing, is that this tragic scenario was expected. Martine Maron is a Professor of Conservation Ecology and Environmental Management at the University of Queensland, she says the Australian government knew this tragedy was possible – for over a decade. “This was predicted in a government report in 2008, which directly stated there would be an increase in number of extreme fire weather days, and should be directly observable by 2020.”

    The result has been catastrophic damage to the vast flora and fauna of the Australia wild. A billion animals, some that are not found anywhere else in the world, have been killed in the fires, pushing many to the brink of extinction. Says Maron, “That estimate is likely to be a conservative estimate, that number excludes all of the invertebrates, frogs, and fish. That’s the next group we are worried about.”

    On this edition of The Big Blue Marble, we discover how devastating the ecological scars of this season’s fires will be and what the future might hold for one of the most biologically diverse nations on the planet.

  • Seventy percent of the earth's surface is covered by ocean water, with more than 90 per cent of the world's living space contained within. Yet, to this day, only ten per cent of our oceans have been studied - leaving the majority virtually unexplored. What we do know - humans are reaching into the depths, despite never having been there. “For a long time we thought we couldn't damage it, that dilution was the solution. Now eight million metric tons of plastic are flowing into the ocean every year,” says George Leonard, Chief Scientist at the Ocean Conservancy.

    According to Leonard, about thirty percent of fish counts have plastic in their stomach when caught. Various forms of the substance has been found in the deepest waters of the Marianas Trench, all the way to the Arctic, Antarctic and beyond.

    On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, we set sail for the most mysterious part of the planet and we will dive through the great Pacific garbage patch. Beyond that, we explore how far reaching our human touch is - including what is a surprise discovery.

  • It was formed over 240,000 years ago during the Great Glaciation, and today is the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies, covering over 200 square km. Located along the Alberta/BC Border, the ice is a significant barometer of the climate crisis. The Columbia Icefield is home to one of the most visited Glaciers in North America. Hundreds of thousands of visitors, discover and witness an epic change each year. The ice is retreating faster than ever, but the story here is not just the loss of a piece of Canada’s iconic landscape, which is problematic in itself, it’s what’s occurring as a result of it.

    “There’s actually a reservoir of pollutants that have been in the atmosphere over the last several decades to a century or so stored in those Icefields” says Martin Sharp, Glaciologist, and science professor at the University of Alberta.

    The melting is opening a vault of lethal contaminants, creating a crisis unlike any other. Find out just how far the water flows on this episode of the Big Blue Marble.

  • It’s not something you will see on the front of a Christmas card, but it’s happening. I hate to be the Grinch during this
    festive season, but these details should be unwrapped quickly.

    On this special Christmas edition of the Big Blue Marble, we explore the climate change reality of some of the most iconic symbols in the land of holiday magic- the North Pole.

    After Santa and his famous reindeer finish their enchanting journey around the world they'll head home to a place where there is no soil, just ice. The next generation of children may be learning a new Christmas story after Jolly Ol' Saint Nick's home disappears into our oceans and waterways. And what about the reindeer? How do they handle climate change. Let's hope Rudolph doesn't really go down in history. This holiday-themed edition is not candy cane - coated, but we will try to help with my top three tips on how you can make this Christmas more eco-friendly. Hint: All that glitters, does not necessarily shine.

  • 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

  • "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.