Aerial view looking south showing the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, Water Polo and the Orbit.
Air pollution, dwarf elephants and water footprints
27 March 2012
This week in the Planet Earth Podcast, Richard Hollingham hears about new air-quality monitoring that could help mitigate the effects of bad-air days; the effect of climate change on Mediterranean dwarf elephants; and exactly how many litres of water it took to make his morning coffee.
2.5 million people around the world die from the effects of air pollution every year and many more suffer ill-health. Richard Hollingham meets researchers at the University of Leicester to find out about an air-monitoring technique that can see individual emission sources and track what happens to the pollution when it's in the atmosphere. The researchers will be using the Olympic Games as a test bed to see how different people and traffic movements affect emissions.
Next, dwarf elephants might be behind the legend of the cyclops in the Mediterranean, but they were still susceptible to changes in the environment 10,000 years ago. Sue Nelson goes to the Natural History Museum in London to find out what fossil bones are revealing about the effects of sea-level change on these enigmatic island creatures.
Click the play button above to listen now.
A full text transcript is available.
And finally, if you think you know how much water is in your morning cup of coffee, think again. Richard Hollingham talks to Martin Tillotson at the University of Leeds to find out why the water footprint of that coffee isn't 'small, regular or large' but probably closer to 1400 litres.
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