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Lightning: Nature's Fireworks

This program examines lightning, discussing what is and is not understood about the phenomenon. It shows how scientists study lightning, features footage of various types of lightning, and presents NOAA safety tips.
Clemons (Stacks)

Weather, Friend or Foe

From the U.S. Army's The Big Picture television series, 1950-1975.; "When -- where -- why -- and how the weather works. Although technical in subject matter, it examines in detail and in layman's language the design and development of new weather equipment. Going behind barbed wire, protected by maximum security precautions, to visit the Evans Lab, which is a subdivision of the U.S. Army Signal Engineering Laboratory in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Of 500 scientists working here, over 100 are in the Meteorology Department. We see one of the Army's largest research center -- a multi-million dollar plant -- which is required for the meteorology program. The Army's need to know more and more about weather that surrounds this planet is a vital part of the expanded research program of atomi [...]

Alternative Power Sources and Renewable Energy [electronic resource]

This program demonstrates how wind turbines, solar cells, hybrid automobiles, and coal gasification plants are beginning to transform the way the world is powered. The U.S. Secretary of Energy, the director of the National Wind Technology Center, the CEO of Enron Wind Corporation, representatives of Worldwatch Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and others discuss the challenge of satisfying the rapidly increasing global demand for energy while developing environmentally friendly forms of power generation to reduce air pollution and lessen the threat of global warming.
2005; 1999

Expedition Above the Clouds [electronic resource]

From the tangled jungle of river basins, Humboldt and Bonpland journeyed into the thin air of Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico, reaching a literal height with their ascent of Mt. Chimborazo. This program weaves location footage, reenactments, rare manuscripts, and readings from Humboldt's letters and journals to present the second half of a scientific odyssey. Humboldt's paradigm of "botanical geography" is clearly seen as the precursor to today's concept of ecological systems.
2006; 1999

Sun, Sunlight, and Weather Patterns [electronic resource]

Climate is a changing phenomenon, the first signs of alteration appearing in its day-to-day behavior-i.e., the weather. One readily observable recent climatic change is the increase in the number and ferocity of giant weather events like hurricanes. This program explains the origin of tropical storms, tropical rainforests, and polar deserts. It shows the route and the effect of the Gulf Stream and explains its role in the Little Ice Age of the 16th century; theorizes about the events that caused the Sahara to become desert; and examines the link between these events, changes in the sun's activity, and cycles involving dust storms and volcanic eruption.
2006; 1990

Protecting Earth's Atmosphere [electronic resource]

This Science Screen Report explains the importance of the gas layers surrounding our planet and the consequences of changing them. Detailing how the atmosphere and the Sun's radiation create the greenhouse effect, the program outlines ways that human activities-including deforestation and the use of fossil fuels-have increased carbon dioxide levels and affected the ozone layer. Specific methods of reducing greenhouse gases, such as recycling and carpooling, are also discussed.
2006; 2004

Magnetism [electronic resource]: Invisible Fields of Force

This Science Screen Report studies the physical force known as electromagnetism and how it encircles, interacts with, and is generated by matter. Demonstrating attractive and repulsive forces with iron filings suspended in liquid, the program explains the significance of a magnet's poles and why some materials are more magnetic than others. The electromagnetic fields of the Earth and Sun are also explored, with attention to magnetism's role in animal migration, the aurora borealis, and solar storms. Animated sequences reinforce essential concepts.
2006; 2001

Meteorology [electronic resource]: Science of Weather

This Science Screen Report looks at the causes of climatic conditions and their influence on human activity. Outlining principles of topography and atmospheric pressure, the program identifies specific types of weather and how they form global patterns-sometimes with damaging and deadly results. The role of ocean currents, and their relation to massive storm systems such as hurricanes and El Nino, is made clear. This program is a valuable source of information on meteorological studies, including the use of satellite technology.
2006; 2000

The Wind [electronic resource]: Nature's Action Hero

Much of the Earth would be uninhabitable without wind. This Science Screen Report studies air in motion and the crucial role of that dynamic, ever-present phenomenon. Illustrating how varying temperature and atmospheric pressure create wind, the program examines local examples in the form of offshore and onshore breezes, as well as global patterns like the trade winds and westerlies. Includes information on ocean currents, cloud formations, and the vital part wind plays in distributing nutrients, seeds, heat, and cool air.
2006; 1999

Geocycles [electronic resource]

Planet Earth is an amazing machine, and we-and our future-are riding on it. This video introduces students to the Earth system's primary interacting subsystems (the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere); the nitrogen, carbon, and water cycles; and three surface processes: weathering, mass-wasting, and erosion. The greenhouse effect, the impact of acid rain on the environment, and diminishing freshwater resources around the world are considered as well.

Atmosphere, Climate, and Weather [electronic resource]

People everywhere are interested in the weather, but how does it all work? Beginning with Earth's atmosphere-its evolution, its gaseous composition, and its four regions-this video takes a close look at how conditions combine to create climate and weather. Topics include the Koppen Climate Classification System; weather prediction; types of clouds and precipitation; thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes; and weather patterns such as El Nino and La Nina.

Environmental Issues and Human Impact [electronic resource]

This video looks at urgent environmental concerns facing planet Earth and what people can do to repair the degradation humans have caused. Air and water pollution, the effects of pollution on health and the environment, deforestation and loss of wetlands, ozone depletion and global warming, and the negative impact of agriculture, construction, and recreation/tourism are discussed. The program ends with anti-pollution initiatives like recycling and greater energy efficiency. The key message? Individuals can make a difference!
2007; 2006

Tropical Storms [electronic resource]: Bangladesh's Cyclone Aila

With extraordinary footage shot during and after Severe Cyclonic Storm Aila, this program looks at the causes and effects of the violent weather event in Bangladesh. Viewers learn how cyclones take shape and develop, witness scenes of Aila striking coastal areas, and explore the social, economic, and ecological consequences through expert commentary and first-hand accounts. The film returns to specific areas a year after the storm and provides examples of how NGOs and government agencies are working together to reduce both the short- and long-term impact of cyclones through better monitoring, predictions, preparation, disaster relief, and poverty alleviation strategies. Eye-catching graphics help explain scientific concepts.

Flooding in Bangladesh [electronic resource]: Causes, Impacts, and Management

Taking viewers deep inside a devastated landscape, this program examines physical forces directly tied to flooding in Bangladesh as well as the broader causes of such disasters, including climate change. It also explores the social, economic, and environmental impact of intense flooding through the personal accounts of people living by major rivers and on Bangladesh's char lands, areas built up from river sediment. Examples of flood management strategies are explored, with a look at the pros and cons of hard and soft engineering. Additionally, the film shows how NGOs are working with flood-affected communities to reduce the developing world's vulnerability to future floods.

The Weather Video Clip Collection [electronic resource]

The weather-a phenomenon clearly beyond human control!-is nevertheless a topic of fascination to people the world over. A combination of high-quality film footage and detailed animations, this collection of 48 video clips (30 seconds to 2 minutes each) discusses Earth's atmosphere, precipitation, meteorology, climates, the environment, and pollution. Video clips include: Earth's Atmosphere-Introduction; The Atmosphere; Atmospheric Pressure; The Movement of Air Masses; Wind; Precipitation-Introduction; Humidity; Cloud Formation; Identifying Clouds; Dew and Fog; Rainbows; Lightning and Thunder; Meteorology-Introduction; Measurement Instruments; Measuring the Temperature; Balloons and Radar; Geostationary Satellites; Polar-Orbiting Satellites; Weather Maps; Climates-Introduction; The S [...]
2011; 2004

Drought Culprit [electronic resource]

For many years scientists have turned to the Southern and Pacific Oceans to try to predict when the drought breaking rains will come to Australia, but now they have a different explanation. This video clip investigates whether the Indian Ocean might be the culprit behind the worst drought on record.

Cloud Seeding [electronic resource]

Most scientist have resisted the idea of cloud seeding, which is done by releasing fine particles of silver iodide into the air to get clouds to produce more rain. However, this video clip takes a look at new research that offers hard evidence that cloud seeding can produce good amounts of extra rainfall when needed.

Clouds and Patterns of the Weather [electronic resource]

Whether studied from the ground, from within Earth's atmosphere, or from orbiting satellites, clouds provide useful information about emerging weather patterns. They often have a direct impact on those patterns as well. This program examines the atmospheric conditions that cause clouds to form in the troposphere and the factors that make them either retain or disperse water. Viewers learn about cloud composition and how air masses collect atmospheric moisture; how and why stratus, cumulus, and cirrus patterns occur; how cloud types are also parsed into ten groups of low-, middle- or high-altitude status; and how clouds move, change in temperature, and give way to condensation.

Global Weirding [electronic resource]

Is the world's weather growing more extreme? This program joins hurricane chasers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and discovers that over the last decade, these storms have been getting more powerful. MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel warns that the new "black swan hurricanes," storms of unusual and unexpected ferocity, could hit places in the world that haven't been slammed by hurricanes in recorded history - and that merely forecasting the weather may no longer be enough.

Inside the Tornado [electronic resource]

More than 1,000 tornadoes touch down in the U.S. every year. While most people run away, one team of scientists heads straight for the action. This program follows their activities, with a primary focus on one team member, Tim Samaras. Viewers learn about the small, armored, camera-laden probes which have been placed by the team directly in the path of several twisters in order to gain potentially lifesaving information on tornado patterns and dynamics. One sequence shows what happens when a device positioned by Samaras is swept up 70 seconds later-the prelude to an astonishing pressure drop and the rapid destruction of a two-story farmhouse.
2010; 2004