Introduction: Climate Challenge - Part 1 (03:03)
Scientist Siwan Davies talks about climate change and how it is connected to the industrial revolution. Davies travels to Greenland where glaciers are receding. If the ice on Greenland melts, sea levels around the world would rise over seven meters.
History of Climate Change (02:03)
Climate change is not new and ice ages are part of the natural cycle of the Earth. Jim McNeil is a polar explorer who is worried about the environment and the possibility that humans will cease to exist because of their effect on the environment. If Greenland’s glaciers melt, sea levels around the world will rise.
Science of Global Warming (03:43)
Davies and McNeil fly over a receding glacier in a helicopter; human activity is the dominant influence on the climate and environment. They watch ice break from a glacier and explain what happens as the ice melts.
Taking Action (03:47)
Professor Jason Box plants trees to reduce emissions because trees draw down atmospheric carbon. There will be intensified storms, blizzards, hurricanes, and droughts because humans are overloading the atmosphere with carbon. Davies talks to people in Greenland about how climate change is affecting their ways of life.
Potential Benefits (02:31)
A young Greenland resident is optimistic and says that as ice melts, more resources will be available to the community. He talks about how animals are changing habitats and behaviors as a result of more land becoming available. The culture of Greenland is changing as a result, and change is inevitable.
Effect on Local Economy (04:42)
In another Greenland town where fishing is the main industry, citizens can see the effect that climate change is having on their economy. A government official says that hopefully it will increase the population because that means more taxes, which translates into more opportunity and a better way of life. A Greenland citizen voices concerns and wonders aloud what they can do to change.
Davies travels to the capital city of Malé, which is at risk from climate change because it is only one meter above sea level. Construction of an artificial island began in 1997 so people and businesses will have a place to move.
An EPA worker says the fate of the islands is in the hands of the developed world because the Maldives does not produce as much carbon dioxide. A formerly blue lagoon is now the garbage island of the Maldives. As the sea levels rise, Thilafushi’s trash will be everywhere.
Threat to Tourism (05:24)
The Maldives is at risk of losing tourists because their coral reefs are dying. Davies travels to Baa Atoll where she goes to a conservation center trying to encourage growth of new coral that can survive in warmer waters. They talk about coral bleaching, coral beds, and how the waters are changing because of global warming.
Fishing Economy (03:19)
Because the coral reefs are dying, there is less bait for fish, and tuna has to look elsewhere for food. Fishermen in the Maldives catch tuna one at a time, and if tuna does not surface, they have no tuna to catch. Since buying, selling, and eating fish are major parts of the lives of Maldivians, global warming negatively impacts the country’s economy and food security.
Davies travels to a small, remote island, where she is warmly greeted by multiple citizens. They talk about how losing the coral reefs is taking away their food and their way of life. They show Davies how they are rebuilding the coral reefs on their beaches.
Erosion Prevention (03:03)
A man teaches people which trees are best to plant to prevent coastal erosion. The best trees have a dense root system, which grounds the island and stops strong winds from damaging property. Davies says the Maldives citizens must adapt to climate change if they want to continue living there.
Davies talks to locals about how the rising sea levels and floods are impacting their lives. One woman has lived there for 60 years but has only experienced major flooding in the last few years and must leave her home at least three times a year. A family says saltwater is coming up through their floors; they are scared when it rains because they fear they might lose their home completely.
Credits: Climate Challenge: Part 1 (00:25)
Credits: Climate Challenge: Part 1
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