Third Pod from the Sun

Third Pod from the Sun

A Tale of Two Journeys

May 20, 2019

In the early years of the 20th century, several groups of explorers attempted to be the first to reach the South Pole, as Antarctica was one of the last unexplored places on Earth. A team of Norwegian explorers led by Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the Pole on December 14, 1911. A competing British party led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott reached the Pole roughly a month later. Amundsen’s team returned safely home but Scott’s team perished on the ice in March 1912.

Recent research has suggested that Antarctica experienced unusually warm weather during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer of 1911-1912, and this weather may have influenced the outcome of Amundsen and Scott’s race to the South Pole. In this episode, Ohio University atmospheric scientist Ryan Fogt recounts the journeys of Scott and Amundsen during this fateful summer and discusses how the extraordinary weather affected the two polar parties in vastly different ways.

This episode was produced by Lauren Lipuma and mixed by Robyn Murray.