Discover the science of raindrops in new TG4 series Báisteach

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Discover the science of raindrops in new TG4 series Báisteach
An láithreoir Seán Mac an tSíthigh le linn taifeadadh Báisteach do TG4

Báisteach. It always seems to turn up when you least want it leaving your best laid plans in tatters but rain is a vital resource.

It feeds our rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.  It nourishes our soil, enabling our crops to grow and our livestock to flourish.

And it provides each of us with our required daily quota of water. Without it we couldn’t survive.

A new TG4 miniseries of the same name starting next week will explore the science and reality of rain, taking viewers from damp Inis Oírr, all the way to arid stretches of the United Arab Emirates, and further afield.

In this three-part series Seán Mac an tSíthigh uncovers how the story of rain is a global one and plays a pivotal role in cultures and religions around the world. 

From water shortages in Ireland, to regenerating landscapes in India and in Kenya, to sponge cities in China, we discover how rainfall impacts lives across the globe.

Episode one, which broadcasts on April 6, unpacks our understanding of rain and the science of the drops of water that fall from our skies.

Seán meets scientist Cormac Ó hAdhmaill at Fermanagh’s Marble Arch Caves to see the impact made by rainfall which fell thousands of years ago.

He also travels to the United Arab Emirates to discover how countries with very little rainfall are using science to enhance their lot.

In the second episode of the series Seán explores the impact rain has on cultures around the world. He visits a holy well in Ireland which contains water which fell as rain hundreds of years ago.

He explores the cultural significance of rain in countries which don’t see a lot of rainfall, and he puts the Child of Prague to the test to keep the rain away for an Irish wedding!

In episode three we travel from Inis Oírr to Arizona to learn about how a lack of rainfall affects people’s everyday lives, and how one Scottish community puts their abundant rainfall to use to regenerate their isolated townland.

Seán visits Skellig Michael to discover how the monks who built a home on this isolated rock in the ocean harvested rainwater to survive.

Presenter Seán Mac an tSíthigh said; Given our relationship with it here in Ireland you might expect a documentary about rain to be a mundane exploration of the familiar.”

“Yet within that familiarity one can find the extraordinary, from the remarkable engineering feats of early-Christian monks on Sceilg Mhichíl in harvesting rainwater to the cutting-edge technology of cloud seeding in the Middle East where rain is created using planes and rockets.”

“Parts of this series look to the past, examining the intimate relationship our ancestors had with rain and sees how their cultural wisdom can inform us as we face today’s climatic challenges.”

“While filming in the United Arab Emirates for example, I was struck by the ingenuity of society where huge cities have emerged from the desert, but I was also made aware of the fragility of such a potentially unsustainable existence.”

“Our generation carries a burden of responsibility for future generations. We are temporary custodians of our planets climate I think this series offers food for thought as we face the challenges climate change brings with it.”