Rip Currents in Cornwall, and Carbon Capture and Storage

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This podcast from the Planet Earth Online collection and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) looks at why understanding rip currents at Perranporth in north Cornwall could help save lives; and how exactly does carbon capture and storage (CCS) work and how can scientists be sure that CO2 will be stored forever?

There has been a huge growth in the popularity of watersports like surfing, body-boarding and kitesurfing in recent years. But at the same time, there have also been record numbers of rescues, often because people are oblivious to the risks. Rip currents (not rip tides as they are often called) are one of those hazards and are responsible for countless accidents.

Sue Nelson goes to Cornwall to meet Tim Scott and former European surf champion, Paul Russell, from the University of Plymouth, and Dickon Berriman from Britain's Royal National Lifeguard Institute to find out how understanding how rip currents work improve beach safety.

Finally: even with cleaner technologies coming onto the market, fossil fuels are likely to be an important source of energy for the world economy. But burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and contributes to the emissions that cause man-made climate change.

Carbon capture and storage is a technology currently endorsed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UK government to mitigate the emissions from power stations driven by fossil fuels. It aims to capture carbon dioxide at its source, transport it along pipelines and store it in natural reservoirs, like depleted gas and oil fields.

Richard Hollingham goes to Nottingham to meet researchers from the British Geological Survey and find out if this will work.

A transcript of the recording is provided to assist those who find text-based content more accessible than audio.

This podcast is dated 12 July 2011.

NERC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

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