Quantcast

Watch Exclusive Trailer: George Kourounis Descends Into World's Most Active Volcano

Climate

In Angry Planet’s season premiere last week, storm chaser and explorer George Kourounis took viewers to Australia to find out if climate change could eventually make the continent uninhabitable. In the series, which is now in its fourth season, Kourounis gets up close and personal with some of the fiercest weather phenomena on Earth. But this season's focus is specifically on climate change.

Kourounis went into the Marum Volcano in Vanuatu, one of the world's most active volcanoes, for the second time.

Kourounis documents how climate change is “directly impacting and endangering Earth’s delicate ecosystem and in turn the world’s population.” Tonight's episode should be especially intense because Kourounis goes to the Pacific island of Vanuatu to descend 1,200 feet into one of the most active volcanoes in the world. This is actually not the first time he's done it. Kourounis made headlines last August when he rappelled into the volcano with a GoPro, which Kourounis describes "like being on another planet, nothing inside that crater relates to normal everyday life ... It was like peeking into the centre of the Earth. Then there’s the heat, oh the heat! It’s hard to describe how hot lava actually is."

Now, he's back to do it again. But this time, he's investigating the claim made by climate deniers that volcanoes produce more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels do. "I really wanted to go out there and show people that volcanoes do not cause global warming," Kourounis said in an interview with EcoWatch. "There have been so many times that people have claimed that big eruptions, like the recent dramatic one at Calbuco volcano in Chile, have set back all the 'Green good deeds' done over the past entire year." That's not at all true because volcanic eruptions actually cool the atmosphere temporarily "by increasing the albedo, or reflectivity, of sunlight back into space."

Kourounis has a very special connection to Vanuatu. He even got married there. So, the devastation Vanuatu experienced from Cyclone Pam was especially saddening for him. Of course, no one single storm can be linked to climate change, but warmer sea water means more fuel to power stronger hurricanes and typhoons.

Kourounis hopes that this episode and the series will help people connect with the issue of climate change. "The people who will be watching these programs will probably be at home, in a climate controlled room, comfortable and dry. Climate change doesn’t affect their everyday lives yet. There are people and places though that are facing real, genuine consequences from the actions of others. It’s so easy to be separated from that, intellectually and emotionally," he told us.

He hopes viewers recognize "we’ve passed the point of debating whether or not climate change is actually happening. The science is very clear. It is, and we are causing it. It’s not volcanoes, not solar flares or natural variability. All those things have been taken into account and have been thoroughly ruled out. We’re now at the point where we must decide what actions we need to take as individuals, governments and as a species in general. The Earth will go on without us. It’s been through worse catastrophes than mankind in its 4.5 billion year history. It’s not really the planet we need to save, it’s ourselves."

Watch this exclusive trailer from tonight's episode which airs on Pivot at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

'Angry Planet' Comes Face-to-Face With Our Rapidly Changing Planet

Viral Video: Man Hikes Pacific Crest Trail and Takes a Selfie Every Mile

6 Year Old Gets President Obama's Attention With This Climate Change Video

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.

Read More Show Less
Valerie / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A coalition of some of the largest environmental groups in the country joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Trump administration's maneuver to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less