Why does it take longer to fly from east to west on an airplane?

When planes fly from east to west, they are flying against a river of air called a jet stream. These air currents can make your flight longer or shorter, depending on which way you are going.

Skip Bailey, Aviation Institute Flight Training Coordinator and Instructor, University of Nebraska Omaha • conversation
Jan. 25, 2021 ~5 min

Beast from the East 2? What 'sudden stratospheric warming' involves and why it can cause freezing surface weather

Sudden warming more than 10 km above the north pole can mean sudden freezing down here.

Richard Hall, Research Associate, Climate Dynamics Group, University of Bristol • conversation
Jan. 11, 2021 ~6 min

Wildfire smoke changes dramatically as it ages, and that matters for downwind air quality – here's what we learned flying through smoke plumes

Thousands of chemical compounds in wildfire smoke are interacting with each other and sunlight as the smoke travels. For people downwind, it can become more toxic over time.

Brett B. Palm, Postdoctoral Researcher in Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Washington • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~8 min

Remembering Mario Molina, Nobel Prize-winning chemist who pushed Mexico on clean energy -- and, recently, face masks

Molina, who died on Oct. 8, 'thought climate change was the biggest problem in the world long before most people did.' His research on man-made depletion of the ozone layer won the 1995 Nobel Prize.

Elena Delavega, Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Memphis • conversation
Oct. 10, 2020 ~6 min

Video: How ancient ice cores show ‘black swan’ events in history – even pandemics

Ice cores can preserve evidence of 'black swan' events like pandemics and droughts, but the glaciers from which they are collected are disappearing.

Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, Geography (Atmospheric Sciences), Senior Research Scientist, The Ohio State University • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~8 min

Hurricane Laura was the latest storm to strengthen fast, but is rapid intensification really becoming more common?

Laura went from a tropical storm to a major hurricane in less than 24 hours, sending coastal residents scrambling to prepare. Hurricanes Harvey and Michael exploded in strength in similar ways.

Chris Slocum, Physical Scientist, NOAA and Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University • conversation
Aug. 28, 2020 ~6 min

Hurricane Laura was the latest storm to strengthen fast, but is this rapid intensification really becoming more common?

Laura went from a tropical storm to a major hurricane in less than 24 hours, sending coastal residents scrambling to prepare. Hurricanes Harvey and Michael exploded in strength in similar ways.

Chris Slocum, Physical Scientist, NOAA and Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University • conversation
Aug. 28, 2020 ~6 min

Hurricane Laura was the latest storm with rapid intensification, but is this really becoming more common?

Laura went from a tropical storm to a major hurricane in less than 24 hours, sending coastal residents scrambling to prepare. Hurricanes Harvey and Michael exploded in strength in similar ways.

Chris Slocum, Physical Scientist, NOAA and Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University • conversation
Aug. 28, 2020 ~6 min

Are hurricanes strengthening more rapidly?

Hurricanes Harvey, Michael and now Laura all had rapid intensification, but is it really becoming more common?

Chris Slocum, Physical Scientist, NOAA and Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University • conversation
Aug. 28, 2020 ~6 min

A massive Saharan dust plume is moving into the southeast US, bringing technicolor sunsets and suppressing tropical storms

From June through October, it's not unusual for huge Saharan dust plumes to blow across the Atlantic. They can darken skies but also bring calmer weather and electric sunsets. Here's how they form.

Scott Denning, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University • conversation
June 25, 2020 ~7 min

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