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WWII Bunkers, Thugs and Aliens, and Calving Glaciers

This podcast from the Planet Earth Online collection and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) looks at why weathermen are using a converted World War II bunker to monitor clouds; how thug species such as bramble, nettle and bracken can be just as damaging to woodlands as alien plants; and why scientists are going to Greenland to deploy a network of sensors in some of the country's glaciers.

There is still a lot that meteorologists do not understand, such as what happens to clouds when they're blown from the sea to the land? Do they break up, or build up? How do city pollutants affect the climate and air quality?

Answering these questions is vital to make more accurate weather forecasts. Richard Hollingham goes to a converted World War II bunker in North Norfolk in the east of England to find out more.

Later, why ordinary native plants like bramble, bracken and ivy could be harming the diversity of plant life in the UK's woodlands. We could leave things to run their course, but if we do, it might prove very difficult to get that diversity back. Richard Hollingham joins a scientist in a wood outside Chester to get the latest.

Finally, Richard meets a researcher from the University of Swansea to find out how Greenland's glaciers are helping scientists understand their contribution to sea-level rise.

A transcript of the recording is provided to assist those who find text-based content more accessible than audio.

This podcast is dated 28 June 2011.

NERC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

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