Heat Island: Documentary On Newstalk explores the effect of climate change on Ireland

This weekend on Newstalk, in a two-part documentary series HEAT ISLAND, Mary Brophy explores the changes taking place in our cities, countryside and in the seas around us as our planet warms – and things start to heat up.

“I think the average Irish person thinks of climate change as something that’s happening away out there in the tropics or away out there in Africa... Ireland is by no means immune from climate change but is in fact at the centre of climate change as it’s happening around the world.”

  • John Sweeney, Climate scientist and Emeritus Professor of Geography, Maynooth.

The planet is warming and humans are making it happen. That’s a fact that 97% of climate scientists around the world now agree upon. That fact has been debated for decades and while arguments raged around ‘who’ or ‘what’ was to blame for climate change, temperature rises were having real impacts on our weather and natural environments, our communities and our homes. Amid the noise of political wrangling on the issue or focus on catastrophic ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ events, we’re learning very little about how change is happening or how man and nature are adapting.

In ‘Heat Island’, a new two-part documentary for Newstalk, Mary Brophy begins to explore just some of those changes already taking place here in Ireland on land, along our coastline and offshore, as a temperature rise of just over a half a degree in the last thirty years has created opportunities in some cases but severe impacts in others. In a warmer and wetter Ireland with sea levels rising, we’ll explore how and why coastal erosion is rapidly advancing on the east coast. We hear how city engineers are attempting to combat the effects of intense storm events. We’ll discover the dramatic changes taking place in the seas around us as fish species migrate hundreds of miles northwards.  And we’ll talk to leading researchers about how our oceans are acidifying, the impact on marine life as well as the livelihoods of fishing communities.

Across two hours we’ll explore these topics with a host of Ireland’s scientists and experts including: Coastal engineer Dr. Jimmy Murphy, UCC, Dr. Triona McGrath of the Marine Institute, ecologist Dr. Ann Marie Power, climate scientists Professor John Sweeney and Dr. Rowan Feeley, marine biologist Dr. Tom Doyle, NUIG, horticulturalists, farmers and city planners.

Heat Island’ examines the aspects of climate change relevant to all our lives, the solutions in practice on our doorstep and the alarming and fascinating ways the natural world is adapting all around us.

The ’Heat Island’ series was originally broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm in March 2018.


The ’Heat Island’ series will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm in July 2018.

  • Heat Island Episode 1: Sunday July 15th at 7am
  • Heat Island Episode 1 Repeat broadcast: Saturday July 21st at 9pm
  • Heat Island Episode 2: Sunday July 22nd at 7am
  • Heat Island Episode 2 Repeat broadcast: Saturday July 28th at 9pm

LISTEN LIVE ONLINE: ‘Heat Island can also be listened to online at: www.newstalk.com

PODCAST: Podcast available at: www.newstalk.com/documentaryonnewstalk.

CREDITS: ‘Heat Island’ is presented by Mary Brophy, produced and edited by Neal Boyle - and was supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, through the television licence fee. Photo by Neal Boyle

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS: IWR Media is an independent media company that creates engaging factual audio and television for broadcast with a track record of award-winning documentary and storytelling. The producers have been commissioned by Documentary on Newstalk, RTÉ Lyric FM, regional radio, RTÉ and TG4 television and have also been supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. For more see: www.iwrmedia.com