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The Indian subcontinent’s record-breaking heatwave
The Indian subcontinent’s record-breaking heatwave

The Indian subcontinent’s record-breaking heatwave

65 min
Report
Deadly heat has been building over the Indian sub-continent for weeks and this week reached crisis levels. India experienced its hottest March on record and temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (and in some places approaching 50 degrees) are making it almost impossible for 1.4 billion people to work. It’s damaging crops and it’s just what climate scientists have been warning about. Roland Pease talks to Vimal Mishra of the Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinagar about the impact and causes of the unprecedented heatwave. What could be behind the incidence of hepatitis in young children around the world in recent months? Ordinarily, liver disease in childhood is extremely rare. Could a virus normally associated with colds be responsible or is the Covid virus involved? Roland Pease talks to virologist William Irving of Nottingham University. Also in the programme: How climate change is increasing the likelihood of animal viruses jumping the species barrier to humans with global change modeller Colin Carlson of Georgetown University. Myths about the personalities of dog breeds are exploded with new research by Elinor Karlsson of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. And how do we stay up when we ride a bicycle? Lots of us can do it without even thinking about it, but probably very few of us can say exactly HOW we do it. Well, CrowdScience listener Arif and his children Maryam and Mohammed from India want to understand what’s going on in our heads when we go for a cycle, and how we learn to do it in the first place. Marnie Chesterton is on the case, tracking down a neuroscientists studying how our brains and bodies work together to keep us balanced whether we’re walking or trying to ride a bicycle. She learns about the quirks of bicycle engineering from researchers in the Netherlands who are part of a lab entirely devoted to answering this question. In the process falling off of some unusual bicycles and uncovering the surprising truth that physics might not yet have a proper answer. And we peer deeper into our brains to find out why some memories last longer than others, whether some people can learn quicker than others and the best way to learn a new skill. (Photo: Woman cooling herself in India heatwave Credit: Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Presenters: Roland Pease and Marnie Chesterton Producers: Andrew Luck-Baker and Emily Bird for BBC World Service

The Indian subcontinent’s record-breaking heatwave

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