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Fabien Cousteau on His Love of the Ocean, Climate Change and More

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Fabien Cousteau is best known as the grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, but he’s also a scientist, explorer and filmmaker in his own right.

His latest project, Mission 31, prompted him to spend 31 days underwater. There, he and other scientists conducted experiments and broadcast their work in an effort to educate the public about the ocean. Cousteau is currently working on a book about the project.

Cousteau will be in Louisville on Tuesday as part of theIdeaFest Water Conference.

He recently spoke with WFPL about his work:

Interview with Fabian Cousteau

 On his favorite part of being in the ocean:

"For me, it's my home. I feel much more comfortable in the ocean than I do on land. I really feel a kinship with that environment. I also am always fascinated and ever-curious, and I think I inherited that from my family—my grandparents, my parents. The ever-lasting curiosity of this alien world. We've explored less than 5 percent of our oceans to date. So everything that my grandfather and others like him have done, that's just the tip of the iceberg."

On how climate change is changing the oceans:

"It's vastly more complex and, of course, scarier down below. Most climate change-related issues start from the oceans, so when the oceans start getting unpredictable and turbulent underwater, it ends up affecting air—our atmosphere—and therefore ends up affecting us.

"What happens in the ocean, a little bit like what you would imagine in air and on land, you get upwellings and downturns and all sorts of things that affect the natural biodiversity and life underwater, everything from migratory patterns to the changing of biodiversity on reefs and so on and so forth. And we're just starting to get a feel for that."

We'll have more interviews with IdeaFestival speakers throughout the week. Find them online here,and tune in to 89.3 at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to hear the interviews.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.