Green Planet Monitor Podcast


Voices & Stories From a Warm Wet Planet

GPM Podcast # 5

As Earth’s atmosphere warms, so do its oceans. Simple physics. Water absorbs heat. Earth’s oceans have absorbed about ninety percent of human-generated atmospheric heat.

As oceans warm, they expand, and their level rises. Sea level rise has been accelerating, steadily, since the start of the 20th century. According to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, seas are now rising at a rate of about 4 mm. per year.

That may seem small. At business-as-usual rates, this could add up to a meter by 2100. But uncertainty is huge. Sea level could rise two meters by the end of this century, and five meters by 2150. Earth’s great coastal cities would drown.

It gets worse. Melting ice sheets add to sea level rise. As the Greenland ice sheet melts, North Atlantic waters freshen, and the northward circulation of waters from the tropics slows down. The collapse of Earth’s ‘great ocean conveyor belt’, was the subject of a Hollywood disaster movie. It could come true.

Stefan Rahmstorf is Co-Chair of the Department of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and Professor of Ocean Physics at the University of Potsdam, just outside Berlin.

Sandra Witelson (David Kattenburg)

Men are from Mars, women from Venus – John Gray wrote, back in the 1990s. Science sees it another way: male and female brains are wired differently, which explains lots: why relationships work or not; how men’s and women’s brains age, get damaged or stay resilient; why men have such a hard time listening.

Listen to my conversation with McMaster University brain researcher and psychologist Sandra Witelson, and University of Minnesota cognitive neuroscientist Apostolos Georgopoulos.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is routinely described as the most malign and aggressive force across the Persian Gulf and Middle East. Iran does have its “proxies” — militant allies in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. Its own forces are stationed in Syria. (US forces are stationed in neighboring Iraq)

Unlike the US, Iran hasn’t actually attacked another country since the mid-19th century.

In contrast, Since its founding in 1948, Israel has launched multiple unprovoked or ‘preemptive’ assaults on Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

According to the US Institute of Peace — a US government-funded institution — Israel has “allegedly conducted” at least two dozen operations against Iran – including assassinations, drone strikes and cyberattacks.

Israeli military chief Aviv Kochavi admitted more than 500 aerial assaults on Syria during 2020. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented nine strikes since the start of 2023. In February, fifteen people were killed by an Israeli airstrike on central Damascus.

Then, there’s Lebanon. Israel attacked Lebanon for the first time in 1978. In the summer of 1982, between fifteen and twenty thousand died in the course of Israel’s aerial assault on Beirut.

Forty years later, Israeli fighter jets and drones penetrate Lebanese airspace on an almost daily basis, generating constant noxious noise. Lawrence Abu Hamdan has documented over 20,000 Israeli aerial incursions into Lebanese airspace over the past fifteen years.

Born in 1985 in Amman, Jordan, Abu Hamdan is a specialist in audio analysis, sonic arts, forensic audio analysis and ‘the politics of listening’. He has testified as an expert witness at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and produced evidence for Amnesty International, Defence for Children international and the UK group Forensic Architecture.

He’s also the founder of