Science Lesson

Breathing and Blowing

I would like you try a small experiment.

Put your hand close to your mouth and, with open lips, breathe on it as hard as you can. The air feels warm no matter how hard you breathe.

Now do the same thing, but this time with pursed lips and blow on your hand as lightly as you can.  It feels cool no matter how softly you blow.

Polar Vortex and Sudden Stratospheric Warmings

The Polar Vortex is a phenomenon seen in the stratosphere, in the winter hemisphere only. It occurs at a height of around five to thirty miles and forms because air above the winter pole cools markedly in response to the lack of solar radiation experienced there at that time of year. This cooling makes the air more dense, leading to a high pressure area near the surface but a low pressure area aloft, as illustrated by Image 1.

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.

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.