Science Lesson

Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, and Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) in the Southern Hemisphere, are a spectacular natural phenomenon. They light up a night sky, dancing around in fantastic colours. There are few places in the Northern Hemisphere where you can see them, but they can be elusive if you are really unlucky. Here we explain the science behind the Northern Lights and share few tips on how to maximise your chances of witnessing this wonderful spectacle. 

What is El Niño - Southern Oscillation?

What is El Niño? 

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a large-scale climatic phenomenon that originates in the tropical Pacific but affects global climate patterns. The warm phase is known as El Niño and the cold phase is La Niña. El Niño occurs irregularly every two to seven years and peaks around in winter. 

What causes an El Niño event?

Global Atmospheric Circulation

What causes our weather? Why is it much warmer at the Equator than it is at the Poles? What are the trade winds?

As weather enthusiasts, these might be a few questions you find yourself asking. The Earth’s rotation and the Sun are the main causes of the diverse weather experienced in different parts of the world every day. A previous article published on theWeather Club explores the processes involved in creating atmospheric circulation cells and the impact they have on global weather patterns.

Lockdown Science Experiments for Younger Children

You will have seen in the media recently that plans for lockdown will be changing in the coming weeks. Some preschools are preparing to reopen for children next week with new procedures in place to promote safety and social distancing. For many of us, our children will continue to be educated and entertained from home.

Global carbon budgets – 2019 Briefing paper and Podcast

The Society released another climate science briefing paper on “Global Carbon Budgets”. How much COcan the world emit to avoid a global warming of 1.5°C or 2°C depends on the current rate of warming and the past emissions. The briefing paper discusses the concept of carbon budgets, how they are calculated and what uncertainties exist.

Read the briefing paper here.

How does climate change affect weather? – Briefing paper and Podcast

We have all experienced extreme weather in our lives – storms, extreme rainfall, heatwaves or droughts. In recent years, the question often arises how these events are linked to climate change and whether we are likely to see more of them in the future. This field of research is called “event attribution”. Our briefing paper “How does climate change affect weather” deals with this topic and explains the science behind attributing extreme weather events to climate change.

Svalbard’s Sea Ice, where is it now? by Dr Michelle McCrystall

While a PhD student at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and University of Cambridge, BAS and the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) provided funds for a training course for a number of early career researchers to learn about fieldwork management skills. This training course provided the opportunity for a number of UK based PhD and PostDoctoral scientists to go to the Arctic to learn important fieldwork skills and to apply these to a number of projects which required fieldwork around Ny-Alesund, Svalbard.