Tag Archives: environmental science

Acid Rain And The Sneaky Policy That "Solved" It – Cheddar Explains

Acid Rain And The Sneaky Policy That "Solved" It – Cheddar Explains

Anyone who remembers the 70s and 80s will probably remember acid rain. Industrial emissions acidified precipitation around the globe, which killed forests and crops, rendered lakes inhospitable, corroded buildings, and exacerbated human health problems.

But anyone who follows environmental news will be surprised to learn this: we solved it! Countries came together to limit acid rain-causing emissions, eliminating the problem altogether.

…kind of. Acidic precipitation may not be a thing of the past after all.

Further reading:

Ambio [journal]

The Christian Science Monitor

Engineering & Science, 1984

U.S. Geological Survey

Environmental Protection Agency

Poisonous Skies [book]

Our World in Data

Harvard’s Center for Science & Int’l Affairs

The Washington Post

The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

Smithsonian Magazine

NYLS J. of Int’l & Comp. Law

The Los Angeles Times

Institute for Research on Public Policy

U.S. Energy Department

Canadian Minister of Environment


Nature [journal]

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics [journal]

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Scientific American

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How Firestorms Form

How Firestorms Form

To start using Tab for a Cause, go to:
Under the right conditions, wildfires can form clouds and generate firestorms, which last far longer than normal thunderstorms.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Pyrocumulonimbus cloud – a type of cumulonimbus cloud that forms that forms above wildfires and even volcanic eruptions, which can create thunderstorms
Virga – rain that evaporates before it hits the ground
Updraft – upward moving air in a thunderstorm
Downdraft – downward moving air in a thunderstorm

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Julián Gustavo Gómez (@TheJulianGomez) | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman) | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

MinuteEarth is produced by Neptune Studios LLC

Sarah Berman • Arcadi Garcia Rius
David Goldenberg • Julián Gustavo Gómez
Melissa Hayes • Alex Reich • Henry Reich
Peter Reich • Ever Salazar • Kate Yoshida

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Andreae, Meinrat O., et al. “Smoking rain clouds over the Amazon.” science 303.5662 (2004): 1337-1342.
Dowdy, Andrew J., Michael D. Fromm, and Nicholas McCarthy. “Pyrocumulonimbus lightning and fire ignition on Black Saturday in southeast Australia.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122.14 (2017): 7342-7354.
Dowdy, Andrew J., et al. “Future changes in extreme weather and pyroconvection risk factors for Australian wildfires.” Scientific reports 9.1 (2019): 1-11.
McKeever, A. (2020, September 24). Fire clouds and fire tornadoes: How wildfires spawn extreme weather. Retrieved January 30, 2021, from
Ndalila, Mercy N., et al. “Evolution of a pyrocumulonimbus event associated with an extreme wildfire in Tasmania, Australia.” Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 20.5 (2020): 1497-1511.
Peterson, David A., et al. “Wildfire-driven thunderstorms cause a volcano-like stratospheric injection of smoke.” NPJ climate and atmospheric science 1.1 (2018): 1-8.


What If You Were Attacked by Murder Hornets?

What If You Were Attacked by Murder Hornets?

They’ve been terrorizing animals and humans in Asia, and now they’ve come to North America. This is the murder hornet, one of the deadliest insects on our planet. What would happen if a murder hornet stung you? Could you be killed by one? And what makes them so deadly?

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IMPORTANT: This video is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have seen on this channel. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, the ambulance or the police immediately. Underknown does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in this video. Reliance on any information provided by Underknown is solely at your own risk.

What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.

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The Best Worst Energy Source

The Best Worst Energy Source

This video was made in partnership with Bill Gates. To learn more about his work on clean energy, visit

Although coal is such an amazing energy source that we’ve kept using it despite the harm it causes, today we may be better poised to stop using it than at any previous time in history.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s –
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer and Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator and Director: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Co-Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia Rius (@garirius)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Sarah Berman
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:



Caldeira, K. Personal communication, Feb 2020

Coady, D. et al. 2015. How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?

Farrow, A., Miller, K.A. & Myllyvirta, L. February 2020. Toxic air: The price of fossil fuels. Seoul: Greenpeace Southeast Asia. 44 pp.

Freese, B. 2016. Coal: A Human History. Basic Books

Freese, B. Personal communication, Feb 2020

IEA. 2019. Coal 2019. Paris.

IEA. 2019. Global Energy & CO2 Status Report 2019. Paris.

Jaffe, E. 17 September 2015. The Enormous Social Cost of Cheap Coal.

Ramani, R.V. & Evans, M.A. “Coal Mining.” Accessed Dec 2019

Pompeu, N.B. 14 Feb 2019. Air Pollution and the Health Cost of Coal.

Union of Concerned Scientists. 15 July 2006. A Short History of Energy.

US EIA. “Coal explained: Coal and the environment.” Accessed Dec 2019

Wikipedia. “Coal.” Accessed Dec 2019

Wikipedia. “History of coal mining.” Accessed Dec 2019

World Coal Association. “Where is coal found?” Accessed Feb 2020


MinuteEarth Explains: Human Evolution

MinuteEarth Explains: Human Evolution

Give Blinkist a try!

In this collection of classic MinuteEarth videos, we answer the question “why are you the way that you are?” And check out the Tree of Life Explorer!

0:00 – Intro

0:10 – Which Fish Did We Evolve From?

1:31 – Are We Really 99% Chimp?

4:26 – Why Are Snakes So Creepy?

6:12 – How Long Can We Live?

8:58 – Outro