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tv   Black Sea Blues  BBC News  December 15, 2019 5:30am-6:01am GMT

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they're there. and what of the black sea's larger this is bbc news. mammals like the dolphin? how many do you think there are there? how many? at least seven. the headlines: karina, a dolphin expert, marathon climate talks in madrid have been further extended into the night because of is taking part in a major survey disagreements between delegates. the european union and others are pushing for more ambitious commitments on cutting to try and find out carbon emissions. if their numbers are recovering. but some of the biggest polluters, so there are a group including the us, of dolphins that keep surfacing say that there's no need near where we are and we are trying, to change current plans. borisjohnson has visited northern england to greet new conservative mps elected in a region, there they are again, which is traditionally a labour stronghold. the british pm praised his new team we are trying to take good pictures and promised to repay the trust of their fins because dolphins have placed in him by people who voted conservative for the first time. unique markings on theirfins and if we can get a good picture the first national rally by italy's grassroots ‘sardines‘ movement has of the fin when it comes seen tens of thousands above the water then it is possible protest against the league, the right—wing populist party. to track and see if it has been seen the demonstrators sang anti—fascist songs and waved cardboard sardines, a reference to their tactic somewhere else in the black sea. of crowding into town squares like fish in a tin. and you see, the dorsal, the back fin is quite sharp. it has scars or a cut on it. coming at 6:00:
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breakfast with ben thompson and rachel burden. so that should help you match it but first on bbc news, and see if you've seen it the black sea anywhere else before? yes. is europe's most polluted, there are two species but asjonah fisher finds out, of dolphin in the black sea. but at the moment, no—one knows how thanks to a major international clean—up effort, there are now signs that badly they have been affected the sea is starting to recover. by all the pollution. the black sea is beautiful. it is a fantastic place, there are thousands of living species in it. some of them are very unique. in europe's south—eastern corner, there is a sea that, for decades, though its overall condition served as the region's dustbin. remains grim, this is not a story without hope. this is now a real problem, people are dying for that. fertilisers, industrial chemicals, raw sewage the black sea does appear, have flowed unchecked thanks in part to efforts along into the black sea. the danube, to have past tourist beaches, turned the corner. ruining fishing grounds. it would kill the black sea, in very, very general terms, if i could put it in one sentence people would not be swimming in it, is that the black sea is recovering. fish would not be living in it.
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it smells like rotten eggs. for those who despair that humanity but having hit rock bottom, is incapable of rising to the scale is europe's most polluted sea of the global environmental crisis, the black sea is an example of how, finally cleaning up its act? with sustained effort, a seemingly endless kind of destruction can be slowed do you think the black sea is now on its way back? and just, maybe, turned. to understand the black sea's problems, hello there. by the time the sun rises, look inland to the we'll have ticked just about every rivers that fill it, weather box through the night — rain, hail, sleet, snow, a bit of thunder, and some gusty winds. all kept going overnight by this area of low pressure to the north of us. strong and gusty winds on the south reaching thousands of kilometres feeding those showers across the country. across eastern europe. but adding to all that, with some clearer skies between them, temperatures have
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dropped low enough for some ice aleksandr has been monitoring around to begin with. but the day ahead, actually, not looking too bad. the dnieper in ukraine for years. lots of dry and sunny weather around. but, as i said, it starts on a cold note. anywhere, really, from north wales northward, greatest risk of frost and ice. and it's here over the hills, most likely to wake up to a coating of snow, too. but the showers we have to start the day will gradually fade away for many. he's showing us what's a few will continue across scotland. lots of dry and sunny known as blooming. weatherfor a time. it's when too many nutrients some in central and eastern parts staying dry and sunny throughout. get in the water, but into the afternoon, triggering a rapid, lurid southern and western areas, those showers get going again — green growth of algae. rain, hail, sleet, snow, and the winds will start to pick up. now, the winds not as strong as they were through saturday. but the hebrides and towards the south—west, we could see gales, if not severe gales, develop later in the day. temperatures in the south, though, 9—10 degrees, tempered by the strength of the wind. a chilly day. scotland and northern ireland, only 2—4 celsius for the vast majority. and with the showers picking up through sunday night, outside the cities, the run—off we'll see those develop more widely, the breeze becoming more from fertilisers used in farming of a note as well. the greatest chance of some hill is also a big part of the problem. snow with a covering — parts of northern england,
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southern scotland, and northern ireland, too. and very windy by the end as is untreated waste. of the night, western scotland and northern ireland. but it still won't stop the temperatures from dropping. many places again close to a frost, if not some icy conditions, of course, if fertilisers and waste to start the new working week. so here we go we go for monday. is dumped in the rivers, a few showers across england and wales, particularly around the coast. it means pollution when those rivers then flow into the black sea. many will have a dry and sunny day before cloud increases three rivers provide the bulk from the south later. some very lively showers of the black sea's pollution. to the north of northern ireland with gale force winds — the dnieper, the dnister potentially 60—70 mile gusts can't and the longest of them all, the danube. be ruled out. and we'll see some heavy snowfall across the higher ground of central and northern scotland. a chilly day to come here once more. but with that gathering cloud towards the south comes a bit back in august, the pollution of a question mark in the forecast. just how much this weather front will influence us as we go reached the headlines in ukraine. through monday night into tuesday. it could be a bit further east, many more of us have a dry day. the water near odessa was turned but this is potentially the story for tuesday. lots of rain across central and eastern england and it could be into a nutrient rich pea soup. cold enough over the very tops of the hills to see a bit of sleet anything that swam and snow mixed in. many, though, to the north
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in it turned green. and west of the country, either way, will have a drier day, just one or two isolated showers. another chilly day for most. and even if that weather front does affect us, it will clear out the way as we go through tuesday these women work for night into wednesday. meaning the rest of the week, well, odessa's sanitation department we've strong, southerly winds and test the black sea every monday. developing, temperatures on the rise, and rain becoming more widespread. this year, they advised holidaymakers not to swim through most of the peak month of august. not that it put many people off. you are not worried the water is not clean? no. and when the authorities say the water is dirty, don't swim, do you stop? are you not worried that this water
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is polluted and might make you sick? 1,000 kilometres away, on another very different beach, one of the black sea's most visible problems is piling up. this is batumi in georgia, a holiday boom town on the sea's far eastern edge. it's grown exponentially in the last ten years. but batumi has a dirty, smelly secret just one kilometre from its tourist beaches. so, this is the main rubbish dump here in batumi.
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obviously, it's pretty disgusting. you can see, full of animals scavenging off the rubbish, people too. the big issue for here is that it's only about 300, 400 metres from this rubbish dump to the black sea itself. and there's a waterway which basically leads all the way down there. taking the rubbish with it. having scrambled down onto the beach, we find some locals. he's caught a fish! are you going to eat them? are you not worried that there is a rubbish dump just up the road? and this water might have come from there?
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a few metres away on the beach, rubbish from the dump is being washed up. so, there's rubbish all along this beach, butjust to give you a sense of part of it, what it's made up of, well, there's lots of plastic bottles everywhere. that's part of a light bulb. an inhaler. some sort of plastic brush, more medicine bottles that looks like. and over here, lots and lots more plastic bottles. some sort of margarine container, a shoe... really depressing and grim to see it like this. good morning. welcome to breakfast because this is just with rachel burden and ben thompson. 0ur headlines today: a little snapshot here, jeremy corbyn apologises for his part in labour's heavy election defeat. but it goes all the way writing in two sunday newspapers, on in a pretty similar way to this. he says the party "came up short".
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poor waste management and rubbish dump along rivers a british tourist is shot have turned the black sea dead and his son wounded during a struggle with armed robbers into europe's most polluted. the latest survey shows outside a hotel in buenos aires. a concentration of litter in the sea cha cha champions — almost twice as high kelvin and 0ti samba their way to the strictly crown. as in the mediterranean. i was iwas in i was in disbelief, complete disbelief. it wasjust i was in disbelief, complete for years, there was disbelief. it was just like... i was in disbelief, complete disbelief. it wasjust like... did very little detailed information they just say our disbelief. it wasjust like... did theyjust say our name! about the state of the black sea. copper pots. that is now changing, and we have joined a research vessel funded by the european union. packed full of scientists, its job is to travel right across the black sea, providing the data to better inform government decisions. long before humans began ruining the black sea, it had, thanks to its
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geography, a unique makeup. 89% of the total body of the black sea, it's not this beautiful, blue water with jumping dolphins here and there, but it's hydrogen sulphide, toxic, smelly chemical. so when you go down, 100, 150 metres under the surface, forget life, you know. bacteria is there. what's worrying scientists is that climate change might lead to a shift in the delicate balance between the two layers. one of the many unknowns about the black sea is how climate change and rising sea temperatures will affect the oxygenated layer at the top, and the hydrogen sulphide below that. now, this device here, well, these tanks will take samples of water at different depths, and the sensors beneath here, they‘ re designed to measure the temperature, the salinity and the oxygen
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content of the water. that allows scientists to say at what point in the water, the oxygenated layer ends and the hydrogen sulphide layer, that dead zone, begins. as the device is lowered, it sends back its readings. 0xygen minimum on this location, about 88 metres. so, the hydrogen sulphide layer starts at 88 metres here? ah...about 90 metres, yeah. what would be the impact for the black sea if the hydrogen sulphide layer rose up? it would kill the entire black sea, people would not be swimming in it, fish would not living in it, no plant would be growing at the bottom of the sea. at the moment, the data suggests that the oxygenated layer that supports life is getting squeezed.
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but there's not enough evidence yet to make firm conclusions. so, the water from the different depths is now being removed and ta ken away. it will be analysed and looked at very closely for traces of plastics, pollutants, organic matter. all helping the scientists here to get a better idea of how healthy or unhealthy that part of the black sea is. the same painstaking process is repeated at 12 different sampling sites over the course of seven days. but to get an idea of what's going on on the seabed... you need a different piece of kit. we're now at one of the deepest parts of the black sea, and if you want to find out what's on the bottom here, you need to use a tool like this. this is called a multi—corer.
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the way it works is it's sent down over the side and then it will hit the bottom and sediment from the bottom will be gathered up in those plastic tubes there and brought back up to the surface. the middle of the black sea is more than two kilometres deep, so it takes more than half an hour for it to reach the ocean floor. ok, so it's now hit the bottom. the reading is about 2,200. the muddy sludge gathered is winched back up to the boat. this sample has come right from the very bottom of the black sea, the part where there's no oxygen, the hydrogen sulphide layer. oh, the smell. smell is chanel. you think it's chanel? black sea chanel.
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it's more like rotten eggs. samples taken from the bottom at sites hundreds of kilometres from the shore have shown the extent of the black sea's contamination. micro plastics are tiny pieces of plastic which can be swallowed by marine creatures and thus get into the food chain. the study of micro plastics is relatively new so it's not clear yet what impact ingesting them will have on our health. to get good samples of the surface
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seawater, i leave the main research vessel with peter, a slovakian scientist. peter tells me he has been finding tiny traces of everyday items in the middle of the sea. stimulants like caffeine and illicit drugs, painkillers, stuff like ibuprofen and then there are compounds coming from personal care product, from shampoo and dish water detergents. that sounds horrifying. should we worry about this? the biggest threat is from pharmaceuticals, especially from antibiotics. the problem is the bacteria which are also here can become resistant against these antibiotics and that is the biggest problem. and that is because if there
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are antibiotics in the black sea that means the bacteria will develop here that will resist the antibiotics and mean that, ultimately, the medicine no longer works. this is now a real problem. people are dying because of it. because the bacteria is resistant? yes. of course. after a week at sea we left the ship, having received a bleak lesson in just how badly humans have damaged the black sea. faced with the piles of rubbish and the contamination, it would be easy to write off the black sea as beyond help. plastic bottle, plastic bottle... indeed, if we made this film in the 1990s we would probably have stopped here. but thanks to a concerted international effort, this is not the end. this is the river danube. it is one of europe's longest
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and most polluted rivers. it stretches its way almost 3000 kilometres across south—eastern europe before emptying into the black sea. it is also a source of hope because over the last 20 years, the danube has been the subject of a massive clean—up operation. and it appears to be working. so this is basically a river of human poo. yes. if you flush the toilet in budapest in hungary, there is a good chance it will end up here. we do not recommend swimming in it. completed nine years ago, this is part of a water treatment revolution along the danube. backed by millions of euros of european union money. before this plant was built, around half of the produced waste water was going directly into the danube.
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raw sewerage. and after we had this one, after 2010, almost 95%, 96% of the sewerage is treated, biologically treated and going like this, clean, to the danube. eu membership for countries like hungary, that the danube flows through, has meant cash for treatment plants and stricter rules on what industry and agriculture can put in the river. those in charge of monitoring say it has made a real difference. the eu provides a framework where the combination of the regulatory frame and the transfer of the money that finances support to the new member state was one of the key factors of the improving of the situation on the danube. so this is a positive story. you are sure that the danube and, by connection, the black sea are now on their way back and the worst is over? we can be happy and satisfied
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with what we did in terms of reduction of pollution coming from one big river, the danube, because we do not know much about the other rivers. but definitely over the last 15 years we have witnessed improvement. the danube story is a success story of the countries transforming themselves in an better environmental management and reaching a better environmental situation. in search of those signs of recovery, we headed off into the shallow part of the black sea, near the mouth of the danube. one of the best indicators as to whether things are getting better is the presence of this red seaweed, called phyllophora. large phyllophora fields were once common in this part of the black sea but as the water quality deteriorated, the seaweed fields shrunk dramatically.
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alexander is heading a0 metres down to the bottom of the black sea to look for signs that the phyllophora is indeed on its way back. his underwater camera shows lots of jellyfish. they are an indicator of poor water quality and a sign that there are not many predators that may eat them. if there is lots of seaweed, then there is food and shelter for small marine creatures as well. 00:20:58,916 --> 2147483051:47:14,173 back on the surface, 2147483051:47:14,173 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 alexander gives his verdict.
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