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Listed under:  Science  >  Earth and space  >  Atmosphere
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Massive hole in ozone layer

Imagine life on Earth without the protective ozone layer in the atmosphere absorbing dangerous UV rays. Scientists predicted that this would be the scenario by 2060 if nothing was done to reduce CFC emissions. But this is a good news story: in 1987, by agreeing to implement the Montreal Protocol that limited CFC emissions, ...

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What shape is a rainbow?

All you need is water, the sky and sunlight and you’ve got something that’s colourful – with a pot of gold at each end. What is it? A rainbow! Find out what happens to sunlight inside a raindrop, why rainbow colours are always in the same order and the real shape of a rainbow. Tip: it’s not an arch!

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Climate clues hidden in polar ice

Did you know that samples of polar ice can tell us what the atmosphere was like almost a million years ago? The Bureau of Meteorology has records that go back 3000 years! Why do you think scientists are interested in learning what the atmosphere was like before industrialisation?

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Carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases

Have you heard of greenhouse gases? What do you think they are? (The word 'greenhouse' is a big clue!) The delicate balance of greenhouse gases has been affected by the addition of an unprecedented amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) to our atmosphere in the last 150 years. Watch this video to find out how CO2 is being added ...

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Plants and increased levels of carbon dioxide

We know that most plants use carbon dioxide to make their own food. So what might plants look like in 100 years if carbon dioxide levels continue to increase - will they become enormous and overtake our backyards? View the possible effects of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide on plants and, in turn, humans and other animals.

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Impact of coming to school on carbon emissions

How big is your carbon footprint as you travel to and from school? Watch Daniel O'Doherty, 2008 'Action Against Climate Change' Eureka Schools Prize winner, as he determines his hypothesis then designs and conducts a study about carbon emissions. Listen to the recommendations he makes to reduce and offset the emissions ...

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Oil from super-greenhouse events

Why did most of the world's oil deposits form at a specific prehistoric time? Learn how overheated super-greenhouse climates caused vast stretches of the world's oceans to stagnate and become depleted of oxygen. Discover the connection between these anoxic events and Earth's oil reserves. Watch scientists investigating ...

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Seals help climate research

Discover how seals are helping scientists study Antarctica, polar regions, oceans and climate change. Scientists use Weddell and southern elephant seals to gather data and monitor the way currents move heat around the world's oceans.

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Recording climate trends

2013 was one of Australia's hottest years, with lots of heat records being broken. Dr Karl Braganza and his team at the Bureau of Meteorology are responsible for preparing temperature and climate data such as this, that climate scientists analyse. Why is it important to keep and study records about the climate?

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Analysing carbon dioxide

Dr Paul Fraser has been part of the Greenhouse Gas team at the CSIRO for over 40 years. His team measures the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, by taking and analysing air samples from different locations around the world. Paul explains that there are a number of versions of carbon dioxide, made up of different isomers ...

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One man's trash is another man's treasure

This resource is a webpage about Australian research into reducing methane emissions from cattle by using a waste by-product from vineyards in their feed. It contains a brief outline of the project and a link to a website that contains a text article, images, an audio file and a video and that describes the research in ...

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Aboriginal fire knowledge reduces greenhouse gases

Come on an eye-opening trip to Western Arnhem Land in northern Australia to find out how Aboriginal fire-control techniques are used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by thousands of tonnes.On the trip you will also find out how exploding ping-pong balls are used to create low greenhouse gas firebreaks at the right time ...

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Carbon and the origins of crude oil

Follow a carbon atom as the central character in a story about crude oil. Watch as this ancient chemical that has existed since the dawn of time is recycled through all life forms, oceans, rocks and the atmosphere. See the origins of the vast oil fields on which the modern world now depends.

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Using fodder to reduce parasites and pollution

Find out about a surprising approach that could help control cattle parasites and at the same time reduce cattle greenhouse gas emissions. Listen to Associate Professor Phil Vercoe and research fellow Zoe Dermitch explain the biological effects ('bioactive properties') that fodder plants could have on the cattle that graze ...

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Chemical pollutants toxic to whales

Explore how chemical pollutants affect the Antarctic food web. A scientist shows that baleen whales are consuming Antarctic krill contaminated by accumulated residues of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from pesticides and industrial chemicals. Find out why these pollutants are concentrated at the Earth's polar regions.

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Clouds, thunderstorms and climate change

Fly into a massive thunderstorm with pilots and scientists as they study how global warming could affect storms. Learn how changes in ice clouds due to climate change could provide clues to future weather patterns. See scientists capture data on the beginning of an unusual cyclone. This excerpt is from a documentary on ...

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Greenhouse effect tips toward climate catastrophe

Follow the carbon atom, the central character in this story about oil, as it is released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributes to the greenhouse effect. See how other events like melting glaciers amplify that effect and contribute to an increasingly overheated climate. Learn about what might tip us over ...

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'Cooking' carbon to make crude oil

Visit the rugged Arabian mountains to see the exposed remains of the bottom of the ancient Tethys ocean, the prehistoric algal soup that gave rise to today's massive oil fields of the Middle East. Hear how oil-source rock laid down in the Jurassic Period changed over millennia as the Earth's surface was re-shaped. Under ...

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Thinning ice sheet

Discover that that the massive ice sheet in East Antarctica has been losing mass since 2006 instead of growing, as was previously thought. Watch animations to see how scientists from NASA and Australia are using satellite technology and aerial monitoring to investigate the thickness of East Antarctica's ice sheet. Find ...

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Sound waves measure ocean temperatures

View how scientists use underwater sound waves to measure ocean temperature changes in the Indian Ocean. The animations show how the technology called acoustic thermometry works. Australian scientists are working with a global network of 'listening posts' to monitor the long-term effects of climate change on ocean temperatures.