Orbit: Episode Three

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    Aira Idris Aira Idris | 21:45 PM, Sunday, 18 March 2012

    In our journey so far we have explored the impacts of the Earth's Spin and Orbit on the weather and climate.

    The final instalment of the series explores the influence of the tilt on the Earth's weather and climate, and how the Earth's relationship with the Sun affects the way we live our lives.

    Originally the series was called 23 Degrees, (the angle of the tilt) as we considered this factor extremely significant to the variability in seasons our planet experiences. Although the series is now called Orbit, the tilt of the Earth continued to be an extremely important factor of the series. What do you think?

    From the arrival of spring in the Hay river to the affects of the monsoon to the people in India, we wanted to uncover how Nature and culture respond to the variations in the Sun's energy.

    Kate takes us through the ancient archeological site Chichen Itza, Yacatan region of Mexico. At its peak, in the 10th century AD it was a thriving city that sprawled over 25 square kilometres and was home to more than 40000 people.

    We wanted to explore how ancient civilizations had developed a great understanding of our Earth's journey around the Sun, and Kate takes us there on a significant day; the March Equinox. How significant are sites such as temple of Kukulkan and Stonehenge to us today?

    In this episode we also wanted to breakdown the key factors that drive the extremes of weather like the Monsoon, Dust storm and the Tornado.

    Helen travels to Kerala, South of India to discover what drives the Monsoon and visits Tornado Alley with atmospheric Scientist Josh Wurman to explain 'What causes a tornado?'

    A record six EF-5 tornadoes were confirmed in 2011, the most deadly being Joplin Missouri tornado (158 killed, 14 mile path length.)

    What do you think about Episode three? How significant do you think the Earth's tilt is to our climate and weather? How far are we in understanding why one supercell drops a tornado and another doesn't? Has our cultural relationship with the Sun changed over time? Leave your comments on this post.

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