Third Pod from the Sun is the American Geophysical Union’s podcast where we hear stories from scientists, for everyone.

Latest Episodes

Fieldwork rocks: Head in the (funnel) clouds

Every year between June and November, researchers take to the skies to better understand and measure hurricanes. Heather Holbach is part of NOAA’s Hurricane Research division and is one of the scientists on the flight team who gets up close and personal with hurricanes.

Fieldwork rocks: From sea to quaking sea

Seismologist Margaret Boettcher has ventured to the depths of South African gold mines and the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a quest to find earthquakes that are predictable enough to measure and simple enough to understand.

Fieldwork rocks: Picturing science

Joris De Raedt, a passionate scientific illustrator dedicated to capturing the beauty and significance of nature through his art, strives to foster a deep connection between people and the fauna and flora that inhabit our world. Despite utilizing modern tools like a graphic tablet, his illustrations pay homage to a timeless style of documenting the natural world.

Fieldwork rocks

It’s that time of year again where many scientists head out into the field, from far-flung locations to local backyards. In recognition of the lengths that some scientists go to to get answers to questions that only the field can provide, we’re sharing stories of science from quaking earth, to roaring winds, to choppy seas, and beyond!

Solving for climate: Understanding the “wild” in wildfire

Wildfires seem to be happening more often, and in 2020, Colorado experienced the worst fire season in its recorded history. Extreme fire events are often assumed to be caused by climate change, but it is not immediately clear this is the case.

Solving for climate: The silent killer in your urban backyard

Cities are hotter due to concrete and asphalt absorbing and retaining heat, less tree cover, AC units pumping out hot air, and more. Most worrying is how hot it remains at night, when bodies are trying to cool down and recover from hot daytime temps.

Solving for climate: Earth’s next top (climate) model

We all know the saying “history repeats itself” but to what extent is that true when it comes to Earth’s climate?  In order to understand and even predict future climates, transitions from one historical climate state to another can be mathematically modeled by atmospheric scientists like Dr. Matthew Huber.

Solving for climate: (Health and safety) in (climate) numbers

We’ve all probably heard about how climate change is affecting the ice sheets and polar bears, but what about human health? More severe and numerous floods, droughts, and heat waves impact a wide range of health outcomes, and shifting biomes may spread diseases to new places. How do scientists understand which portions of health effects are caused by climate change, and how can health organizations be prepared?

Solving for climate: Do go chasing hurricanes

Jane Baldwin is a storm chaser, only her mode of chasing is computational modeling using multiple streams of data. As an Assistant Professor of Earth System Science at UC Irvine, she models how hurricanes and other natural hazards respond to atmospheric dynamics.

Solving for climate: Coasts in the machine

The Earth's oceans play a crucial role in regulating the planet's climate by absorbing and storing vast amounts of heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, the oceans are warming at an alarming rate. This increase in ocean temperature is causing a range of devastating impacts, from more frequent and severe storms to rising sea levels and bleached coral reefs.