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Last Updated: Friday December 18 2009 14:32 GMT

Leah visits a cloud chamber

Newsround's Leah

As lots of world leaders talk about climate change in Copenhagen in Denmark, Leah's been taking a closer look at the subject.

In her latest report Leah's been trying to find out why scientists may be able to help solve the problem.


"In the lead up to Christmas we all know it gets a bit chilly and start wrapping up warm, so when I found out I was going to visit a cloud chamber at Manchester University I thought I'd be well prepared.

I was wrong. It was utterly freezing.

The scientists are really interested in the weather and one of the things they focus on is making clouds. They've created a special machine to help them.

The chamber is made up of three large chilly rooms arranged above each other on three floors of the building.

Temperature indicator
The temperature gets lowered so it's really cold

Freezing temperatures

For the experiment to work temperatures were lowered to minus 17 degrees. Not even my hat, coat and gloves were much help against that.

I was surprised to find out they could make it even colder - as low minus 50. Fortunately the scientists showing Newsround how clouds and ice particles are made didn't need to make it that cold. Phew.

The future for climate change

Next hot water was poured into the base of the chamber and then heated up - a bit like how a kettle works. When the steam mixes with the extremely cold air above it tiny ice particles are formed and it looks a bit like snow.

Cameras take images of the ice particles as they fall, which the scientists can study.

As I waited in the cold some of those tiny ice particles started floating out from the bottom of the chamber.

Newsround's Leah
Tiny ice particles fall from the chamber

The scientists hope that by making clouds they'll be able to understand the weather better. That could help other scientists come up with ideas to tackle climate change."

Leah