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Talking about the weather

08 Sep 2010

Weather extremes in the North and South Poles and their rapidly-changing climates are the latest subjects of a fascinating series of podcasts about our atmosphere.

You can download the latest podcast now
You can download the latest podcast now

Scientists at The University of Manchester have started producing the monthly episodes to inform people about the weather, climate and air pollution.

This includes seismic recent events such as the Icelandic volcano ash cloud, as well as what makes hurricanes tick and why playing football at the World Cup was tricky for some (and not just England).

The podcast has been put together by academics at the Centre for Atmospheric Science, and features a round-table discussion followed by ‘Grant’s Rant’ – a controversial and fiery assessment of an atmospheric issue from contributor Dr Grant Allen.

It is hoped the informative and entertaining half-hour broadcasts will inform and entertain about the world around us.

The third episode, Polar Opposites which was released 2 September, is about weather and climate at the North and South poles.

One of the main subjects discussed is the variations between the poles and how that leads to differences in the weather and climate.

There is also information about what types of climate research go on in the poles today, and a little bit on the history of their exploration.

Part of the podcast is an interview with a couple of University of Manchester scientists who spent several weeks near Hudson Bay in Canada making measurements in the snow and ice.

One of the podcast team, Dr. Gavin McMeeking, said: “Atmospheric science is at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and biology, so it is a great way to learn about each of those subjects.

“Everyone is affected by weather, climate, and the air pollution, and if they want to learn more about them we hope they join us to hear makes them tick and hopefully get a laugh or two along the way.

 “This podcast explains the science behind them. Someone whose flight home from Australia was cancelled will know a bit more about why they couldn't make it home after they listen to the programme.

“You can listen on the train, the bus, anywhere really, but hopefully no one thinks you're crazy if burst out laughing at our pronunciation of "Eyjafjallajӧkull”.

You can download the free podcasts from iTunes (search for “The Barometer” under podcasts) or from

You can also contact the team by emailing:: and follow them on twitter @thebarometerpod


Notes for editors

The podcast team: Dr. Gavin McMeeking, Dr. William Morgan, Dr. Jennifer Muller, Dr. Hugo Ricketts, Niall Robinson, Dr. Andrew Russell

For media information contact:

Dan Cochlin
Media Relations
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8387