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You are browsing the archive for Centennial Archives - Third Pod from the Sun.

September 23, 2019

Centennial E10 – Volcano Disaster Prepping

Many people have emergency kits packed to flee or survive forces of nature like floods, hurricanes, or wildfire. But what do you throw in your bag when you expect to rush toward a natural hazard? Geologist John Ewert has his go-kit packed with portable seismometers and gas-monitoring equipment, ready to mobilize when a volcano starts to rumble.

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August 19, 2019

Centennial E9 – The Sun and the Exploding Sea

In 1972, in the waning years of the Vietnam War, U.S. military pilots flying south of Haiphong harbor in North Vietnam saw something unexpected. Without explanation, and without warning, over two dozen sea mines suddenly exploded. While the phenomenon was never officially explained, it piqued the interest of space scientist Delores Knipp.

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June 24, 2019

Centennial E7 – Night of the Killer Smog

The Clean Air Act of 1970 was one of the first and most influential environmental laws passed in the United States. But why was this law needed in the first place, and what inspired lawmakers to want to regulate air pollution levels?

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May 20, 2019

Centennial E6 – A Tale of Two Journeys

In 1911, two competing groups of explorers attempted to be the first to reach the South Pole. In this episode, atmospheric scientist Ryan Fogt recounts the journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen and discusses how extraordinary weather that year affected the two polar parties in vastly different ways.

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April 15, 2019

Centennial E5 – When the Sahara was Green

In this centennial episode, she reveals the secrets of the mud, how humans may have weathered climate swings of the past, and what the past can tell us about our warming world.

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March 18, 2019

Centennial E4 – Toxic City Under the Ice

In 1959, the United States built an unusual military base under the surface of the Greenland ice Sheet. Camp Century was a hub for scientific research, but it also doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic. When Camp Century was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be forever entombed beneath the colossal sheet of ice.  

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February 15, 2019

Centennial E3 – Rifts Beneath the Ocean Floor

Kathy Crane is a true adventurer. As one of the first women in the field of marine geophysics in the 1970s, she hypothesized and then helped discover the existence of hydrothermal vents on the Galápagos Rift along the East Pacific Rise in the mid-1970s and was one the first people to see many of the strange creatures that make their home in this improbable environment.

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January 15, 2019

Centennial E2 – Uncovering the Ozone Hole

In the mid-1980s, scientists uncovered a troubling phenomenon: The ozone layer, which protects all living things on Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation, was rapidly thinning over Antarctica.

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December 13, 2018

Centennial E1 – How the Cold War advanced atmospheric science

Tensions escalated between the United States and Soviet Union in the wake of World War II as the two countries stockpiled nuclear weapons and detonated hundreds of test bombs in the atmosphere. But this arms race had an unexpected side effect: scientists learned for the first time how air behaves in Earth’s upper atmosphere and how pollution, volcanic ash, and radioactive fallout travel around the globe.

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