Mega Tsunamis • 2015 • episode "9/10" Catalyst: Season 1

Category: Environment

By investigating the tell-tale signs of earthquakes and tsunamis written into the landscape over the last thousand years, Japanese scientists are rewriting the rule books for disaster prevention in the Pacific.

Make a donation

Buy a brother a hot coffee? Or a cold beer?

Hope you're finding these documentaries fascinating and eye-opening. It's just me, working hard behind the scenes to bring you this enriching content.

Running and maintaining a website like this takes time and resources. That's why I'm reaching out to you. If you appreciate what I do and would like to support my efforts, would you consider "buying me a coffee"?

Donation addresses

buymeacoffee.com

patreon.com

BTC: bc1q8ldskxh4x9qnddhcrgcun8rtvddeldm2a07r2v

ETH: 0x5CCAAA1afc5c5D814129d99277dDb5A979672116

With your donation through, you can show your appreciation and help me keep this project going. Every contribution, no matter how small, makes a significant impact. It goes directly towards covering server costs.

Catalyst: Season 1 • 2015 • 10 episodes •

Polar People

Each year, over 2000 people apply for jobs in Antarctica, but few are successful. What are the physical and psychological attributes required to work in the most remote location on Earth? Could you snag a job in sub-zero temperatures at an Antarctic station?

2015 • People

Our Chemical Lives

Thousands of chemicals are used in everyday products – in our water, our food and in the air we breathe. It’s the chemical soup of modern life and it’s virtually impossible to escape them. Is there adequate regulation and testing, or are we in the midst of an uncontrolled, human experiment?

2015 • Health

Anti-venom

Good to know as you travel to the Antipodes - Australia has the most venomous snakes and spiders in the world. But, if you’re bitten, can you rely on anti-venom? Dr Graham Phillips investigates the effectiveness of anti-venom.

2015 • Health

Future Cities

It's amazing to think that in the 1900s a mere tenth of the world's population lived and worked in cities. Now it is over half. With soaring populations, how will we keep our cities live-able? And what will the city of tomorrow look like?

2015 • Environment

Quantum Computing

The promise of quantum computers is that what would otherwise take a billion years to calculate, could be done in a few seconds. First-generation quantum computers have started to appear. Indeed, earlier this year, Google bought one, The D-Wave 2. How will this advance change our future lives?

2015 • Technology

Powering the Mind

What is memory? How do our memories change from childhood to adulthood? How we can build up greater brain reserves to power our mind into old age? Brain epigenetics, how the expression of our DNA can be changed by our experiences, is an intriguing new area of science with huge health implications.

2015 • Brain

Extreme Weather

This special report looks at the domino effect of environmental and atmospheric factors that drive the globe to wetter, hotter, drier and colder extremes.

2015 • Environment

Tokyo Flood Prevention

Fifty meters beneath the teeming mega-city of Tokyo is an underworld river system - 6.4km of tunnels, colossal water tanks, massive pillars, giant pumps that remove 200 tons of floodwater every second. It’s an engineering marvel built to protect Tokyo against the increasing threat of flooding.

2015 • Technology

Mega Tsunamis

By investigating the tell-tale signs of earthquakes and tsunamis written into the landscape over the last thousand years, Japanese scientists are rewriting the rule books for disaster prevention in the Pacific.

2015 • Environment

Alien Technology

Is there anyone out there? Does the popular movie quote 'ET phone home' have any substance? Astronomers have been pointing their radio telescopes at the skies for decades trying to pick up alien signals. Hitch a ride as we join astronomers trawling through the galaxy looking for signs of life.

2015 • Technology

You might also like

Our Changing Planet Series 2

Chapter 1: Steve Backshall visits the Maldives, a country facing significant challenges because of climate change. Warming seas and the acidification of the oceans have led to coral bleaching on a massive scale. And increasingly unpredictable weather patterns could deal the final blow. 2022 saw the first mass coral bleaching during La Ni?a, a climate pattern that historically keeps oceans cool enough to avoid bleaching. The earth's reefs are now at a tipping point. But these extreme challenges are galvanising the science community to get out of their labs and into the field, experimenting with more novel and innovative techniques and trialling ideas that could just make a difference. Steve returns to Laamu Atoll to find out about one such cutting-edge project. Professor Steve Simpson and his team from Bristol University have identified that coral larvae, baby corals no bigger than a pinhead, move towards the sound of a healthy reef, a response that guides them to settle amongst a more biodiverse and healthier habitat, and in so doing, add to the coral population. Steve dives with Professor Simpson and records the sound of a healthy reef. With the help of a 360-degree camera, they are able to identify key marine life that make up these coral playlists. Liz Bonnin returns to California to investigate some surprising solutions for the relentless onslaught of the state's wildfire season. California's wildfires are becoming a yearly catastrophe, with the state government spending billions of dollars in the last five years to fight these out-of-control blazes. Liz discovers that ancient forest management techniques and the beaver, a misunderstood mammal, could help prevent them in the first place, providing powerful tools to sustainably protect our planet against the ravages of climate change. Liz visits the traditional reservation of the indigenous Tule River tribe, who have been practising a technique called 'controlled burning' for thousands of years. By regularly burning the twigs and leaf litter that collect on the forest floor, they reduce the amount of material that typically collects in forests and fuels megablazes. Liz joins the tribe on one of their cultural burns and finds out how they have protected their land and, importantly, their sacred sequoia trees. To prevent the fires from moving at speed across the landscape, scientists and indigenous communities are hoping that beavers can help solve the problem. Once found across North America, by 1900 beavers had been hunted virtually to extinction. Liz joins scientist Dr Emily Fairfax, who has been studying the benefits of introducing beavers into a landscape. Surrounded by burnt-out forest, a green oasis sits at it centre, the territory of a beaver family that has created what Emily describes as a 'speed bump' for wildfires. Chris Packham is in Greenland to learn more about the effects of global warming and the rate at which snow and ice are melting and retreating in the Arctic. He travels to a science research station on the island's remote north east coast, one of the most important locations in the world for the understanding of warming in the Arctic and its global impact. Chris joins an Arctic expedition as scientists from Aarhus University and Copenhagen Zoo track across the snow-covered tundra in search of musk oxen, an ice age survivor that can tolerate temperatures ranging from - 40 to +10 degrees Celsius. With the gradual warming of the Arctic, future conditions may not resemble anything the species has ever encountered. Now moving slowly northwards as temperatures rise, there are many questions to be answered: will populations become vulnerable to warm weather disease? How long will they have a territory that's cold enough for them to survive in? And what will they leave behind them? The conditions are gruelling. Chris and the team have to move fast across the vast landscape, hoping to dart and collar 21 of these huge, powerful creatures, taking hair, blood and stomach samples. We learn how the sophisticated collars and an array of science techniques will be able to tell us if they breed, feed, survive or perish in the years to come. Chapter 2: Gordon Buchanan returns to Brazil, Ella Al-Shamahi to Cambodia and Ade Adepitan to Kenya. Gordon Buchanan returns to Brazil, the most biodiverse country on our planet and home to one of the world's most important wetlands, the Pantanal. Gordon's here to revisit a pioneering project that is committed to saving one of the Amazon's iconic predators, the jaguar, and to understand the importance of a healthy ecosystem. The Pantanal is vital to the health of the jaguar's territory. Fed by the Amazon Rainforest's water cycle, it's an extraordinarily rich habitat, and home to an array of water and land species. Gordon takes to the water and sees first-hand how this place is perched on a knife edge. As climate change accelerates, the Pantanal is becoming drier, endangering its wildlife and vegetation, including the jaguar. Gordon hears from a local conservationist how the plans for up-river dams could severely impact this precious ecosystem. Habituating jaguars is a vital part of ecotourism, enabling paying guests to experience these iconic creatures. The profits fund vital research and this year Gordon follows the team on their annual collaring project, darting jaguars and collecting samples and data from these super-sized cats. Once sedated, Gordon gets the opportunity to get hands on with the scientists, witnessing for himself the range of samples and data the team are collecting. This will provide valuable insights into the jaguar's movements within their ever-changing habitat. Ella Al-Shamahi returns to Cambodia, an area experiencing increasing economic growth. This growth is putting massive pressure on natural resources, and is leading to expanding cities and potentially devastating over-exploitation of the natural world. Ella discovers the reality about our planet's most exploited resource after water – sand. The Mekong River is vital to the health of not only this region but to five other countries, and is being dredged for this valuable resource, endangering the structure and health of this mighty river system. Ella takes to the water with a leading Mekong expert to see the extent of the extraction. Unsustainable and highly destructive, mining could possibly sound the death bell for this precious ecosystem. UK scientists are using high quality satellite imagery that reveals the extent of the damage and there's hope that regulation can slow this exploitation. Biodiversity plays a vital role in building resilience in these threatened landscapes. Ella joins an expedition that will reintroduce the nearly extinct Siamese crocodile into the depths of the Cardamom Mountains. To date, the survival of these critically endangered animals has been down to the cultural connection between the local people and the crocodiles, who they consider sacred. Ella and the team are taking ten crocodiles to a safe and very remote site. The crocodiles are inserted into bamboo rolls, which are soaked in water to keep them cool, then bundled onto the back of mopeds and driven to the release site. It's a 24-hour journey, crossing rivers and tackling forest pathways, all the time ensuring the crocodiles are safely stowed. On arrival, the team acclimatise the animals before their final release. We meet those who discovered one of the last remaining crocodiles and an elder of the village explains the role of crocodiles and the natural world to his people. Ade Adepitan returns to Kenya to report on the devastating effect of rising temperatures and failed rains. The conditions are extreme, and the challenges, unimaginable. Both communities and wildlife are fighting to survive the worst drought in 40 years. When Ade visited Kenya in 2021, the elephants were severely affected by drought, but 2022 saw a new and sinister problem. People and elephants were now fighting over dwindling food and water supplies, even killing each other in their desperation to survive. Ade finds out about a project that could help farmers and elephants to co-exist until the next rains finally arrive. Using biology and behavioural science, leading elephant scientists, with the input of locals, have created affordable tools for repelling elephants from farms and reducing conflict. Ade travels to Sagalla, near Tsavo National Park, where its community is leading the way and testing these devices. He meets local farmer Jones, who has created what he calls a 'noisy gun' from tin cans and wood. Other devices include condoms full of chilli powder and beehives strung along fences. Ade finds a community under extreme pressure, but the ingenuity of the 'Human Elephant Coexistence' toolbox is providing a genuine ray of hope.

2023 • Environment

Breaking Boundaries: The Science of our Planet

Stabilizing our planet's life-support system won't be easy — but it can be done. And our survival depends upon it.

2021 • Environment

Earth Out of Orbit

What if the Earth was pulled out of its orbit and sent on a collision course into the Sun? Earth's deadly fall triggers massive hurricanes, sandstorms and a heat wave that kills every last person.

S1E8Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End • 2016 • Environment

The Chernobyl Disaster

Reveals the events that led to the 1986 nuclear accident. Ch1: Meltdown The events that led up to the nuclear disaster in 1986, hearing from those who were caught up in the tragedy, and those who risked their lives cleaning up afterwards. The series also details events in 2022, when Russian forces took over Chernobyl during its war against Ukraine, and the plant was once again set on a potentially catastrophic course. Narrated by Ben Fogle. Ch2: Firestorm With the reactor on fire and radiation spewing out into the atmosphere, firefighters battle to bring the blaze under control. A former Soviet helicopter pilot reveals what it was like flying over the core, while a historian who grew up in neighbouring Belarus reveals how her mother pulled her out of school and kept her inside when her father - a nuclear scientist - heard rumours of an explosion. Ch3: Fallout Reveals the huge sacrifice made by thousands to contain this devastating nuclear disaster. Contributors include those who risked persistent deadly radioactive levels to clean up the site.

2022 • Environment

Nature's Big Year

When humanity hits pause, nature reboots; scientists discover the surprising ways pandemic lock downs affected our planet.

S61E2The Nature of Things • 2021 • Environment

The Secret Science of Sewage

Dr George McGavin and Dr Zoe Laughlin set up base camp at one of the UK's biggest sewage works to investigate the revolutionary science finding vital renewable resources and undiscovered life in human waste. Teaming up with world-class scientists, they search for biological entities in sewage with potentially lifesaving medical properties, find out how pee can generate electricity, how gas from poo can fuel a car and how nutrients in waste can help solve the soil crisis. They follow each stage of the sewage treatment process, revealing what the stuff we flush can tell us about how we live today, and the mindboggling biotechnology being harnessed to clean it, making the wastewater safe enough to return to the environment.

Horizon • 2021 • Environment