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Archive for April 2013

redskyimage.jpgRed Sky at Night, Shepherd's Delight. Red Sky in the Morning, Shepherd's Warning.

Is this weather folklore true, or just another "myth" to be busted? And what could it mean? Listen to this mythbusting session to find out!As Sam points out in the episode, red skies get a mention in the Bible and also by Shakespeare! So could there be some truth to it? “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.” Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare. In the Bible, Jesus said, “When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.” (Matthew XVI: 2-3,)Mythbuster: Sam Illingworth

Chat & production: Jennifer Muller



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#EGU2013 Audio Diary #5: Oh Vienna

In our fifth and (sadly) final audio diary of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Sam I and Will reflect on an excellent week of science, social media and the beautiful city of Vienna. Hopefully you've enjoyed our series of podcasts this week. We hope that we've added an insight into an academic conference for those who thought 'this means nothing to me', while also bringing together some of the highlights from the ever evolving world of atmospheric science. Thanks for listening.

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In our fourth audio diary of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Sam I and Will chat over the highlights of day 4. Hear them discuss getting value from old methods, more satellite measurements (surprise surprise) and fires across the globe. They also discuss Will's presentation on a biomass burning project in Brazil - you can find some more background here.

Thanks for listening and we'll be back for our final wrap up episode tomorrow LIVE from EGU.

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In our third audio diary of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Sam I and Will chat over their highlights from day 3. They are joined by Jon Tennant to discuss the 'Great Debate' that the EGU hosted on Shale Gas: to frack or not to frack.

Jon mentioned some excellent resources from the Geological Society regarding shale gas in the UK, which are available here.

Thanks for listening and we'll be back tomorrow with another episode LIVE from EGU.

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In our second audio diary of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Sam I and Will chat to Aoife Grant and James Grayson about some exciting new scientific research from the wonderful world of atmospheric science. Sam I also brings you his personal thoughts on his favourite EGU ever!

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Welcome to our first audio diary of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly that is taking place in Vienna this week. Join Sam Illingworth as he wanders the poster halls pouncing on unsuspecting atmospheric scientists to find out their highlights from the first day of the meeting. Topics include the Mars Curiosity Rover, pollution in the largest cities in the world and the cost of the Elgin gas leak to the UK economy.

Thanks to Roland Leigh and Rosie Graves from the University of Leicester for talking to us.

Tune in tomorrow for our next episode.

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2013-03-20-164.jpgBetween 19-22 March 2013 over 850 pupils from local schools visited The University of Manchester as part of the National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW). The aim of the event was to enthuse the pupils from years 5-9 about studying science and engineering through a variety of stalls showcasing how science, engineering, technology and maths impacts on our everyday lives, and shapes our daily decisions. The pupils had the opportunity to get up close with some of the cutting-edge research going on at The University of Manchester, and take part in a range of activities designed to inspire them to becoming the scientists of the future.

The Barometer Podcast had a stall at the event with a few demonstrations of the type of research we do at the Centre for Atmospheric Science. The pupils were able to look at some real ice crystals through a microscope, learning how they are formed and what they are called, e.g. columns, dendrites and plates. The ingredients and processes for making a cloud were discussed and followed by a great demonstration, aptly named ‘Cloud in Bottle’ emphasising the importance of needing aerosols as a surface for the water to condense on to. Aerosols were introduced including how they range in size, chemical composition and other properties such as whether they like to take on water and therefore if they are likely to make clouds. A demonstration on the size and number of aerosols in a fixed volume was given, which included a baseball bat, 9 table tennis balls, 3000 raisins, and 3 million grains of sugar (not individually counted, obviously)! A particle counter further demonstrated how size and number of aerosols are related; there are a great number of smaller particles. Various household items including talcum powder, air freshener and a toaster were used and the pupils found there were more aerosols from a toaster than talcum powder because they were smaller and so were not visible. The demonstrations were wrapped up with explanations on how we have to study these tiny, invisible particles to better understand cloud formation, the weather and even climate. So if the weatherman doesn’t always get the forecast right they now understood why.

In this episode we find out what the pupils thought of our stall, what other exciting scientific things they had seen and learnt, and how many budding scientists we had inspired.

Vox-popping interviewers: Sam Illingworth and Sam Hardy

Production: Nicky Young

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