Science Lesson

Jetstreams

Jetstreams are discontinuous, narrow currents of strong winds in the upper atmosphere. The polar jetstream is of special interest to meteorologists because of its association with the regions where warm and cold air masses meet, and weather systems develop bringing wind and rain.

Heat Stress

Heat stress occurs when the body’s means of controlling its internal temperature starts to fail. Some cultures have adapted to avoid heat stress – the Mediterranean siesta signals a work break during the hottest part of the day, or in the tropics where work begins earlier, ends later and is carried out at a slower pace. Heat stress is not something we experience very often in the UK, especially after recent summers, but if we do experience a heatwave – a prolonged spell when daytime and overnight temperatures are elevated and humidity is high - we need to be prepared.

Pollen levels and weather: Why hay fever suffers need to keep an eye on the weather

Over 10 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever and the arrival of warm, dry weather during the spring marks the start of increased pollen levels that can continue through into autumn. The tree pollen season runs until mid-May, followed by grass pollen until late July and weed pollen until the end September. An allergy to grass pollen is most common, affecting about 95% of sufferers.

Cold Rush: Arctic ice caps, hidden mineral reserves and a 21st century gold rush

As the world warms and the Arctic's ice caps melt, the region's hidden oil, gas and mineral reserves are slowly being opened up for exploration, causing international rivals to begin jockeying for position. Viel Richardson examines the causes and consequences of a 21st century gold rush