You took up your post as Science and Environment Correspondent in January 2003 from being a World Affairs Correspondent. It must have been a great change moving from battlefields and wars to the South Pole. Why did you choose your latest position?
Like many correspondents, I'd reached an age where you start to think that reporting conflict is for a younger generation! Also, I have long been fascinated by environment and science issues, and this was an ideal chance to report on them. Many of these stories lend themselves to strong television coverage and it's been fascinating to see how warmly audiences have responded.
We have all recently seen many examples of climate change damage. In Tokyo, for example, we have a terrible urban heat-island phenomenon because of air conditioners, asphalt and tall structures during the summer time. Would you be able to tell me one of the most memorable areas you have been where climate change has been most prominent please?
Of many striking sights, the most dramatic was in Greenland. This giant land is covered with ice a mile thick, and at the edges you can see huge chunks breaking into the ocean. This process, of course, happens all the time, but research shows how rapidly the melting is accelerating.
We camped with a team of American NASA scientists who found that the margins of the ice-sheet actually move twice as fast in the summer - which means that warmer conditions could trigger the rapid collapse of the ice and raise sea levels worldwide. Greenland is an incredibly lonely place, but what happens to its ice will matter to us all.
This April, BBC World will broadcast its Climate Watch season with many programs, which will be broadcasting the message to a global audience of 281 million homes, telling people what is going on and what should and could be done.
When you are reporting on climate issues, you must often see the hard reality. Do you think telling people the stark truth on television could save our planet? What is the most important message, in your opinion, that we need to be broadcasting around these programs to our global audience?
My job is to report what I see and to explain what the scientists are finding. If viewers take anything from that, fine, but I'm not a campaigner. I am an optimist however! In the past, humanity has achieved some extraordinary things when under pressure so why shouldn't the same happen now? One of Britain's top climate scientists told me that we have a window of opportunity for action in the next 10-20 years to head off the worst predicted effects of global warming.
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