A podcast about our changing planet and what we're doing to manage that change.
16. World Oceans Day 2021
The world oceans cover just over 70 percent of the planet. The ocean produces about half of the oxygen that sustains Earth, feeds and employees millions. It’s also pivotal to regulating the climate as it absorbs massive amounts of carbon dioxide. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 8 as World Oceans Day “to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.” Concern for the vast and mighty ocean has prompted the U.N. to launch the Ocean Decade — 10 years of challenges to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources by 2030."
Understanding, appreciating, and protecting this massive resource has surfaced as a major international priority. But, when it comes to knowing our oceans in-depth, humanity is still in the dark.
In this episode of Pod of the Planet, entitled “Mapping the Mysterious Deep,” Marie DeNoia Aronsohn speaks to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory marine geophysicist Vicki Ferrini about a project to better understand our world oceans. The Nippon Foundation - GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project has an ambitious goal: to create a comprehensive, detailed map of the entire ocean floor by 2030.
15. Flying into the eye of the volcano
In March, Iceland's Fagradalsfjall volcano woke up from a 6,000-year slumber; soon it was jetting lava fountains as high as 1,200 feet, and sending fiery outflows into nearby valleys. Most people run from volcanic eruptions, but volcanologist Einat Lev decided to get on a plane and get as close as possible. Lev, who works at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Observatory, specializes in analyzing how lava bodies develop and move, and Fagradalsfjall is prime for study: It has a steady, vigorous lava supply, but is not big or explosive enough to be too dangerous. It's also accessible, a short drive from the capital city of Reykjavik.
In this episode of Pod of the Planet, Earth Institute science news editor Kevin Krajick speaks with Lev about her experiences on the trip, and erupting volcanoes in general. Listeners: Check out the spectacular drone footage she took. You can also see stories and photos from two of her previous expeditions, to the Quizapu Volcano in the high Chilean Andes, and Hawaii's monstrous Kilauea.
As of this recording, Fagradalsfjall was still erupting. It has not caused any serious damage so far, but if the lava continues spreading, it could cut off the Ring Road, Iceland's main highway. Stay tuned and follow State of the Planet for the latest (Icelandic authorities have a live webcam trained on the volcano).
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14. Ask what Nature can do for you
Today we're celebrating International Women's Day with a special interview with Professor Ruth DeFries on her new book, "What Would Nature Do? A Guide for Our Uncertain Times" (14:56). She talks about how humanity can survive by adopting strategies of the nonhuman world.
Also Sarah Fecht, content manager for the State of the Planet discusses a couple recent pieces from the blog including how C02 levels may have affected dinosaur migration and the science behind C02 and how it traps heat.
Be sure to check the rest of the amazing content highlighting the work of women at the Earth Institute by going to blogs.ei.columbia.edu.
13. Corruption, migration and COVID-19
COVID-19 has completely upended our way of life. It has infiltrated all parts of society affecting many overlooked places. That's why in this episode we explore the toll it has taken on migration both across borders and within countries. More specifically we look at how corruption, failed policies and a lack of understanding are all making things worse for vulnerable groups in India and Kenya.
We get a first-hand account from small-scale women traders in Kenya on what they're having to deal with. We also speak with Amrita Dhillon, a professor of political economy at King’s College London and Jackie Klopp, a research scholar at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Both are researchers with the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence program. You can find more at ace.globalintegrity.org
12. Shopping for the planet
In our final episode of the year, Kyu Lee speaks with three of his colleagues: Phebe Pierson, Sarah Fecht and Charlotte Munson. They talk about Phebe's interview with Barnard professor Sandra Goldmark and her new book, "Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet" (24:27). Sarah talks about some of the top stories coming out of the State of the Planet blog (13:10). And Charlotte, an undergraduate student at Columbia, gives us her all around perspective on what campus life has been like during the pandemic. Thanks again to all our supporters, we appreciate all the wonderful feedback we've gotten. Have a happy, healthy holiday and see you in the new year!
11. Lamont's Open House goes virtual
Our biggest, best event of the year is going virtual! Join us October 19-22 for Lamont Open House at Home. This year, we’ll be bringing all the science fun and discovery of this iconic hands-on event right to you. Lamont Open House at Home is four days filled with exciting and informative virtual earth science activities for children, families, educators, and science enthusiasts of all ages.
So inspiring really makes me know what is happening in the world.