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?
Few natural phenomena are more difficult to study than tornadoes. They’re short-lived, their locations are notoriously hard to predict, and getting close enough to observe them is both challenging and extremely dangerous.
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.
The Arctic Ocean is topped with a layer of frozen sea water – sea ice – that grows every winter and shrinks every summer. To study the ice in detail, researchers hop aboard an icebreaker ship that can plow through the sharp, cold ice floes without being damaged.
Snapping shrimp are small but mighty creatures: they’re only a few inches long but are among the noisiest animals in the ocean. The loud cracking noise they make when snapping their claws sounds almost like a gunshot, and when enough shrimp snap at once, the din can be louder than the roar of a passenger jet flying overhead.
Hawaii is frequently described as a paradise in the Pacific Ocean, but for some scientists conducting field work, there can be some challenges to overcome. In this special episode, Kate Brauman, the lead scientist at the Global Water Initiative at the University of Minnesota, describes her field work experiences in Kona on the big island…
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.