Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For March 12 – 19, 2017

Greetings to everyone! All across most of North American, spring is in full swing much earlier than usual. The severe weather season has also kicked into gear and the peak of the season (by climate data) is still well over two months away. There’s plenty to cover this week, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s severe weather safety link is the Tornado Safety page from the Storm Prediction Center’s Roger Edwards. The page starts out with a very appropriate and true warning: There is no such thing as guaranteed safety inside a tornado. Freak accidents happen; and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and its occupants. Extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare, though. Most tornadoes are actually much weaker and can be survived using these safety ideas.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A up-to-date list of citizen science projects is always available from the folks at SciStarter. The City Nature Challenge is just one of many taking place in several USA cities. I’ve been a long-time participant in the CoCoRaHS rain, hail, and snow network. By participating, you will provide meteorologists with valuable precipitation measurements. The CoCoRaHS network also has a free app where you can send in your daily reports…even if you don’t get any precipitation at all!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

For those of you familiar with the Scandinavian countries, it should come as no surprise that the World Health Organization (WHO) says that Stockholm is one of the cleanest capital cities on the planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The recent snowstorm in the northeastern parts of the USA has brought more than snow. The usual cries of “foul” are not going unnoticed. Unfortunately, they’re not coming from a segment of the population that understands the daunting task of forecasting winter weather. Here are some badly needed answers from those who know.

Now that spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has put together their Spring 2017 Outlook and these two maps that hint at a warmer-than-usual spring for much of the contiguous USA. As for precipitation, there are equal chances (EC) that much of the country experiencing drought will or will not get any relief.

For #WorldMetDay on 23 March 2017, the World Meteorological Organization has new cloud identification charts!

The new charts cover low, middle, and high level clouds as well as other general cloud information and are available in several languages.

Weather satellites are as essential to the atmospheric sciences as x-rays and CT scans are to the medical profession. Science Friday recently spoke with some folks from NOAA on the current and future nature of weather satellites. Do weather satellites need a repairman? What does the future hold for NOAA’s satellites?

For those who have taken part in a NWS Skywarn storm spotting course, you’ll find some valuable information in this video from storm chaser Skip Talbot called “Storm Spotting Secrets.” Please pay attention to the caution at the beginning of the video. This is NOT a replacement for a NWS Skywarn spotter training course. After having been a storm chaser since March, 1982, I can honestly say that almost every storm environment is different, nature always has the upper hand, and what will get you in trouble is either (1.) the danger that blindsides you that you never see coming or (2.) pushing the safety envelope in order to have more “extreme” videos and/or photographs. Many supercell thunderstorms can intensify at an almost incomprehensible rate and you may not have time to react in a safe and rational matter.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Good for them. Let’s hope the more join the ranks. “In Challenge To Trump, 17 Republicans Join Fight Against Global Warming.”

A sobering read about the current state of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affairs. “A Guide To The EPA Data Under Threat By The Trump Administration.”

The recent proposed “skinny budget” is a very real threat to the EPA, NOAA, NASA, and more. It also potentially puts the general public at risk.

Speaking of budget, if the current USA presidential administration cuts climate science funding, the ramifications could severely hurt the UK’s climate scientists ability to do research. With NOAA in the crosshairs, this isn’t a matter to be taken lightly. Ginned up hype? Contrary to some who are on the defensive, no…this isn’t.

Although science funding makes up only about 1% of the annual USA’s federal budget, much of the future of climate science research funding is in jeopardy.

A very intriguing read. The USA’s new defense secretary cites climate change as a national security issue.

Unfortunate yet somehow not surprising. “Financial officials from the world’s biggest economies have dropped from a joint statement any mention of financing action on climate change, reportedly following pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia.”

THE QUIXOTIC

This is one of those headlines that leaves you a bit gobsmacked. “Climate Change Denier Jim Inhofe Says EPA Is ‘Brainwashing’ Out Children.”

That’s a wrap for this week! I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For March 4 – 12, 2017

Greetings and welcome to everyone! With severe weather season having gotten off to a good start across parts of North America, I’m going to include a severe weather safety link every week for the next month or so. Considering the recent uptick in severe thunderstorm and tornado activity, now’s the time to make final preparations for your emergency kit and any necessary plans regarding shelter. As usual, there are plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s Severe Weather Safety link is from the Storm Prediction Center. The comprehensive Online Tornado FAQ.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool read on new evidence of a water-rich history on Mars.

LIFE SCIENCE/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is a very interesting new perspective on evolution. “The power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A new report published in the Anthropocene Review has measured the impact humanity has on our humble planet. The results are, as expected, not a little substantial.

A sobering read on the state of our air quality. “Pollution is responsible for one in four deaths among all children under five, according to new World Health Organization reports, with toxic air, unsafe water, and lack of sanitation the leading causes.”

How about a nostalgic visit to the pre-EPA era in the USA. Ah, yes…those were the days.

Let’s end this on a positive note with a visit to a Texas, USA city that is leading the way on renewable energy.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Summer can’t end too soon for Australians…who have just endured one of the worst heat waves in decades with many records broken.

Warmer than usual temperatures are creating an unsettling scenario in the Arctic as its sea ice continues to diminish at an alarming rate.

While on the topic of warming, spring came early for much of the contiguous USA…and climate change played no small part.

A recent survey shows that most Americans feel climate change is a legitimate concern…but only for other countries. In the UK, concern over climate change and its local effects is also growing.

As for the climate change deniers, there’s no other way to describe them other than “deniers.”

Here’s a brilliant “take down” from a noted climate scientist in reply to a well-known cartoonist who, for some reason, seems to enjoy spreading doubt about soundly established science.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back incredible data. One of the new features is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper.

Is Moore, OK in the cross-hairs of strong to violent tornadoes? It really depends on how you want to look at past history given humans habit of making “sense” out of random events. Here’s an interesting perspective with input from several notable severe weather meteorologists…from the FiveThirtyEight archive: Tornado Town, USA.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Scientists can no longer nurture an aversion to public engagement. With a war on science gathering momentum, it’s time to make your presence known.

Recent proposed cuts to the NOAA budget could not only put a halt to a great deal of research, but seriously affect data used for keeping folks informed about dangerous weather conditions.

Understandably so, many climate scientists and weather forecasters are infuriated at the latest threats to NOAA form the current presidential administration. Both the EPA and NOAA are part of what has made the USA a great country in recent decades.

The USA’s Clean Water Rule is more important now than ever before. Unfortunately, the current administration has it squarely in the cross-hairs for a full on attack.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “It seems like this EPA and this administration broadly seem to view their job as being a support for business as opposed to safeguarding public health.”

Last but definitely not least, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Scott Pruitt (who’s well-known to my fellow Oklahomans) actually said something that flies in the face of firmly established climate science. The train wreck continues…

THE QUIXOTIC

Finally, a look at the archaic “daylight saving time” routine that has long lost it’s purpose.

That’s a wrap for this post! A big “welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.

Cheers!


Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 25 – March 4, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Meteorological Spring to my friends and followers in the Northern Hemisphere. For many, it’s been an exceptionally warm winter and spring is already throttling up. In the USA, Skywarn spotter classes are ongoing as of this post. Check with your local National Weather Service office to see if there’s a class scheduled near you. And, as has been the case for the last few weeks, science and public policy have been front and center…so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Wind and solar power are gaining major ground in countries across the globe. Considering that change is often difficult, how will the status quo adapt?

Cities around the globe smarten up & go green as 2/3 of world population will live in urban areas by 2030.

Air pollution isn’t just a minor irritation, it’s a major health hazard with lethal implications. Here’s an excellent read on how to deal with and/or avoid potentially deadly poor air quality.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed in the USA, environmental conditions were in a sorry state. It would behoove us to keep that in mind and fight against the threat of retrograding into a new dark age.

While on the topic of air pollution, other countries besides the USA have their share of air quality issues. The problem for USA citizens is their noxious air travels round the globe and eventually reaches us.

Here’s another sobering look at environmental conditions in the USA in the pre-EPA days.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A new earthquake outlook for 2017 highlights Oklahoma and California as the hot-spots for quake activity…so we’ve been warned.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If it seems like spring has come early this year for much of the Northern Hemisphere, you’re not imagining things.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back amazing high-resolution images!

For the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of meteorological spring occurred on 1 March 2017. Here’s a look back at an unusually warm winter from Climate Central.

2017winterreview_miami_en_title_lg

Sea surface temperatures and weather/climate are inextricably linked. From the National Weather Service in New Orleans, LA, “The Gulf has remained warm this winter, generally 2-7F above avg now. Pic from the NOAA View Global Data Explorer.”

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For the state of California, it was famine to feast in terms of rainfall. Here’s a look at the “atmospheric rivers” that kept the state dry, then inundated it with dangerous flooding conditions.

Speaking of drought, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for March, 2017. In spite of recent rains, drought conditions persist or increase across many areas of the plains and southern states.

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Though the focus of this article is on the recent heat wave in parts of Australia, it applies to other continents as well. “Climate Scientists Say Likelihood Of Extreme Summers Surging Due To Global Warming.”

What do citizens of the USA think about climate change? This interesting read provides some maps and links to answer that question.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-1_22_48-pmPercentage of adults, by state, who think global warming is happening. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Severe Weather Safety Link Of The Week: With the severe weather season well underway across the USA, here’s a very comprehensive yet concise overview of severe weather and it’s hazards from the National Weather Service. “Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, And Lightning. Natures Most Violent Storms.” (20 page PDF file)

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

NOAA is about to take a bit hit from the Trump administration, specifically their satellite division. This is ugly…and it will only get worse. Nefariously draconian comes to mind (considering that much of the life-saving data you benefit from comes from the portion of NOAA that’s under the gun), but that would be to politely generous.

Four Ways NOAA Benefits Your Life Today.” This is a “must-read” by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the irreplaceable benefits that NOAA and the National Weather Service provide to USA citizens.

Do scientists really lose credibility when they become political? Absolutely not. We need all the scientists involved in the current political climate as possible.

Fighting fire with fire is the only way to deal with the building hostilities toward the scientific community.

Things are bad indeed. “Responding to attacks on scientific expertise and threats to public funding, the growing protest of American scientists might also suggest something about the perceived direness of the state of the world under Trump: If the scientists are organizing, then things must be really bad.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped collecting important climate and environmental data. No data = no science = no progress.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A Norwegian news site is on to an excellent way to deal with trolls and/or people who have a “knee-jerk” reaction to a headline and leave hostile and threatening comments. Make them read and article or essay and answer questions about it before they’re allowed to comment. There’s nothing like a little mature, critical thinking to take the place of sophomoric rants.

This disconcerting privacy read will make you think twice about carrying a mobile device in and out of the USA. In case you’re wondering, your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights don’t apply.

Your privacy in the safety of your own home is also a hazard. Chances are, you are your own worst security risk.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send out a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. We’re in interesting times…so hang on…lots more fun to come.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 18 – 25, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s been quite a mild winter for much of North America. While some locations have had their fair share of snow and cold temperatures, many locations (including my own) have had very warm winter conditions. Many flowering trees are in full bloom, weeds and early spring flowers are showing their presence, and those unfortunate souls who deal with seasonal allergies are quite miserable. Many high temperature records across the USA have been broken, some of which have stood for the good part of a century. Meanwhile, Australians have had a recent heat wave with lethal temperatures in some locations of 110-115F. This week, there are more than enough science/public policy reads to partake of. For the near term, this is going to be the dominant trend among the scientific community. Scientists from all areas of study have traditionally endeavored to remain apolitical. Those days are gone and, with the war on science gathering steam, it’s time we fight fire with fire. On that note, let’s get started…

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A very thought provoking read that well established what many of us already know…science is an international/global endeavor and it’s time for scientists to stand up to all detractors.

The war for science in the USA is more than a minor difference of opinion. It’s become an all out threat to the USA and, eventually, the entire globe.

While the war on science wages, university officials have very legitimate concerns over scientific research funding that may…or may not…disappear. It’s presence may depend on whether or not it fits within the current presidential administrations agenda.

Ensuring scientific integrity during a time with the anti-science sentiment is at an all time high, will be increasingly difficult in spite of any progress.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and newly sworn-in head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt’s emails are starting to surface…and they speak for themselves.

The constituents of congressional climate deniers are getting a well-deserved rude awakening at recent town halls. I suppose denying global warming is one way members of Congress are attempting in vain to keep the heat off.

Red states in the USA are giving a small degree of notice to climate change…but only with names that are, at best, watered down euphemisms.

The choice for the current USA’s presidential science advisor is William Happer…and he’s quite interesting to say the least.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Nine Tips For Communicating Science To People Who Are Not Scientists.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This is a very thought provoking read that will have you thinking twice about taking your mobile device aboard an international commercial airline flight. Obviously, in spite of the power behind the USA’s Constitution, there are times where our fourth and fifth amendments rights are null and void.

While on the topic of privacy and security, here’s an excellent read on how to encrypt your online life in short order. “Pro Tip: if you insist on enabling thumbprint identification for convenience’s sake, and are ever arrested, immediately power off your phone. When the authorities turn your phone back on, they won’t be able to unlock it without your password. The fifth amendment (against self-incrimination) allows you to keep your password secret. But a court can compel you to unlock your phone with your thumbprint.”

Now that you’ve done your best to protect your privacy and security, here’s a good read on having grace in social media.

PHYSICS

A fascinating physics read. “Time Crystals – How Scientists Created A New State Of Matter.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some excellent wind power news for the USA. Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on 12 February 2017 for the first time on any North American power grid.

Norway is making major headway in switching over to electric-powered vehicles (EV) and could be one hundred percent EV in as little as eight years.

The sight of four million solar panels from space is quite a sight…and one we can hope will spread across the globe.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Once upon a time, even Benjamin Franklin, lightning rods, and the UK were locked in political sabre rattling over…lightning rods.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows 13.8% of the contiguous USA in drought conditions with intensification noted in the south, mid-Atlantic, and New England.

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Forecasting winter weather events is one of the most daunting challenges that a meteorologist can face. This message from the Twin Cities, MN National Weather Service does an excellent job of explaining to a largely un-weatherwise public the difficulties of doing their job and dealing with a cantankerous segment of the public.

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THE QUIXOTIC

In the 21st century, people are still taking this kind of pseudoscience seriously. Sad but true.

That’s a wrap for this post! As usual, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! We’ve got some wild times ahead, so hang on.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 11 – 18, 2017

Greetings to everyone! If it’s winter in your location, you’re probably wondering if we went directly from autumn to early spring. In spite of some heavy snowfalls in the Northeastern USA states, most of the USA and Canada is in the midst of a very mild winter. For many folks, it feels as if spring has already arrived. Speaking of spring, Skywarn spotter training classes are underway across the USA in preparation for the coming severe weather season. And, as expected, science and public policy is front and center again…and will be for some time. On that note, let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A reminder from January’s archives…the reasons behind the March for Science scheduled for 22 April 2017.

Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s a concise overview of what that means for the environment. On a personal note, those of us who live in Oklahoma and have serious concerns for our environment are very familiar with Pruitt’s past. There are daunting challenges ahead for the EPA.

The latest news for this week has focused on the impending dangers to the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.

NASA’s valuable work and research on climate change may be facing significant peril or be altogether obliterated.

TECHNOLOGY

Before it disappears permanently, some ambitious and diehard coders are working non-stop to rescue climate science data.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Would you like to help NASA searching for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space? If so, here are the details!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Some amazing astronomical eye candy was captured recently in Sweden…and it’s quite a sight.

Recent research into the surface of Mars hints strongly at the presence of water in the not-so-distant past.

Our sun is an amazing star. It also produces very unusual bursts of radiation. NASA now knows why.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An excellent read on the current state and future growth of renewable energy sources and the inevitable demise of fossil fuels.

Fifty years of environmental protections and a host of earth-friendly pledges are in dire danger of being wiped off the planet by the USA’s current presidential administration.

At the state level, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under yet another threat from Florida lawmakers.

Bakersfield, CA has what is likely the worst air quality of any USA city. With the potential demise of the Environmental Protection Agency and/or regulations, Bakersfield’s air could be on track to get worse.

In some cities, residents are cautioned to take great care when an air pollution alert is issued. Safety tips for air pollution can be just as important as precautions taken for severe weather.

Here’s some good renewables news. “Wind Briefly Sets Record As Source For Electricity In USA.”

At Texas A&M, the first glow-in-the-dark bike lanes in the USA have been painted. Let’s hope these catch on in as many states as possible.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Based on NOAA and NASA data, January, 2017 was the third warmest on record globally. Here’s a look at global climate anomalies for January, 2017.

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Speaking of a warm winter, if February seems warm, you’re not imagining things. For the contiguous USA, it’s averaged five degrees above normal.

With the peak of North American’s severe weather season fast approaching, now’s the time to get your emergency kit in order.

According to new research and a newly developed a mathematical equation, people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

Take a look at NASA’s campaign (which is a world-wide first) to make detailed maps of all the oceans and glaciers around Greenland’s coastline.

In a continent used to very hot weather, even this Australian heat wave is making the most jaded residents take notice. “The heat wave down under is unusual even for Australia – but it may not be so for much longer. The country is in the grip of one of the most ferocious heatwaves on record, and climate change is being held accountable.”

What Do Gorilla Suits and Blowfish Fallacies Have to Do With Climate Change?” Plenty. You’ll find out why in this excellent read on human behavior and the attitudes towards climate science.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!


Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review for February 4 – 11, 2017

Happy weekend everyone! February is moving along just fine with a major heat wave in Australia, significant snowstorms in the northeastern USA states and parts of eastern Europe, and an exceptionally warm winter day in the American southern plains. As of late, I’ve had several inquiries regarding storm spotter training. Across the USA, National Weather Service offices are having their Skywarn spotter training classes. Please check with your local National Weather Service office to see when training is scheduled in your area. This training is imperative to have if you’re to be an effective spotter. Also keep in mind that this is a commitment to your local community. Safety, for the public and yourself, is a non-negotiable priority and the purpose of storm spotting. Sensationalism, hyperbole, and fifteen minutes of fame on social media isn’t.

In other topics, public policy is now a permanent part of the sciences. It actually always has been but, in the interest of neutrality, many scientists have avoided it in spite of their frustrations. For reasons that are painfully obvious, scientists and citizen scientists are now in the politics business. Lock and load…we’re in for several years of a wild ride.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

The USA can’t afford to take part in any international or national cuts in science funding. Any attempts at such action would set us back many years.

Oklahoman’s are more than a little familiar with the new head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency and what he is capable of. The agency’s regulatory authority is in peril.

After what seems like a millennium of playing the apolitical “neutral” game, scientists are finally taking a stance politically…and none too soon.

A very thought provoking look at women in scientific research. The most startling statistic: only twenty-eight percent of researchers are women.

This young lady has the kind of fearless chutzpah that you can’t help but admire. “Congressman is righteously booed after dodging a young girl’s simple question about science.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter is finally putting some teeth and anti-harassment  into their policy toward trolls.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

This could also be posted under Atmospheric Science, but due to the potential use by citizen scientists, I’ve posted it here…and it’s very cool too. You can now post mPING reports from your RadarScope app! If you’re a citizen scientist, weather geek, nature enthusiast, or have any kind of interest in the weather and climate, RadarScope is the best mobile device weather radar app available.

GEOGRAPHY

A fascinating look at seven maps that will certainly alter the way you look at the countries around the world.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Considering the impending changes in the current administration, I doubt seriously this will come to fruition. We can only hope that somehow the EPA is still allowed to tell Oklahoma regulators to do more to protect the state from a surge in earthquake activity linked to the underground disposal of oil & gas wastewater.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good news from Europe. Approximately ninety percent of new power is from renewable energy sources. The caveat is what will happen after the year 2020.

Fortunately, there’s more good renewables  news this week. “Wind power is making a comeback. One of the earliest energy sources to be harnessed by mankind has now overtaken coal-fired generation in Europe and hydroelectric dams in the U.S.”

Air pollution can kill. You only have to look at the recent horrid conditions across much of China to see the life-threatening effects.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

As I mentioned earlier, it’s time for Skywarn spotter training. With the peak of severe weather season rapidly approaching, it’s time for training.

A much warmer than usual winter for the Arctic is still going full steam. That’s not a little disconcerting.

Here’s a very detailed view of drought conditions across the contiguous USA. For the first time since March, 2011, there are no areas in the USA that are experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions.

In other parts of the world, floods and erosion are problematic. Many of Britain’s significant sites are in critical danger of permanent alteration.

An enlightening read on how the new climate change denial is just like the old-school denial…just a touch of different rhetoric.

One of the more unfortunate stories this week concerns false information that claims the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) falsified climate data. Here’s Carbon Brief’s excellent article on this matter as well as a good read from the New York Times.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “Climate change has long been the target of so-called fake news and its researchers can offer lessons for the wider society in how to handle deliberate misinformation.” Considering the overabundance of information that many people find difficult to sift through, a concerted effort to help the public discern scientific news conveyed by truth-seeking scientists from sub par propaganda from the interloping riff-raff is badly needed.

The United States isn’t the only country where climate change and policy is being ravaged in terms of short-term profits. Australia has an equally hostile climate as well. Myopic, vested interests have climate science squarely in their cross-hairs.

Last but certainly not least, here’s another reminder of the March for Science which will be taking place in Washington, D. C. and many, many other cities around the globe on Earth Day, 22 April 2017. For more information, please visit the March For Science website for details and how you can participate. One particularly interesting take on the even comes from Forbes magazine. “The March For Science In Washington Is Political Whether You Like It Or Not.”

march-for-science2

And that will be a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the ride!

Cheers!


Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 28 – February 4, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you are having a good weekend and your week went well since we last visited. There’s a lot to go over from this week…and an unusually large amount of articles on science and public policy. For the near future, this will be a dominant topic in the sciences so get ready to see a lot of it in every form of media you can imagine which includes, but isn’t limited to, social media. On that note, let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Mark your calendars! The March For Science will take place in Washington, D.C. and a host of other cities worldwide on Earth Day, 22 April 2017!

march-for-science2

There are a number of ways you can keep informed on the March For Science. You can visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tension and stress over the transition. That’s a vast understatement. “Fears that Donald Trump’s presidency will suppress climate science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are causing widespread unease”.

What would happen if the USA withdraws from the Paris climate agreement? While small gains could be made on the local level, the overall effect would be a climate-based diplomatic disaster.

One viewpoint feels that scientists marching on Washington, D.C. would be a bad idea. I beg to differ, but understand where the writer is coming from. Regardless, you can’t retreat from the front lines…we’ve a job to do.

Many scientists in the USA are very concerned about draconian cuts in research funding. In fact, many could be forced out of science altogether.

Don’t be surprised if you see many scientists running for political office in the next few years.

We got a good scare this week when it was reported that a climate change denier would be put in charge of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “But, according to the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, climate change doubter Ken Haapala never met with NOAA leadership and isn’t shaping its future.” So…for the time being…NOAA and the National Weather Service is somewhat safe. But, considering the ongoing Trump administration hostilities toward science, this could change in a most unfortunate way.

At least there’s some good news from our friends in Scandinavia. “Sweden has presented a new climate law designed to ensure all future governments have a “credible climate policy” as well as announcing an ambitious target of achieving a net level of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A citizen scientist has written a very concise book on climate change that fills a niche that has been largely ignored.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out these amazing images from the Cassini mission of Saturn’s rings!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

This is quite an amazing video from Hawaii, USA of lava flowing into the ocean.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Renewable energy sources are making headway by leaps and bounds. A single wind turbine in  a 24-hour period produced an amazing 216,000 kWh (which is a LOT of power!) on December 1, 2016 at a testing site near Østerild, Denmark. That’s officially a new world record.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Meteorologists have come a very long way in forecasting winter weather. Here’s a really good read from the Capital Weather Gang on the amazing winter weather forecasting improvements that have taken place since the 1970’s.

For far too long, female broadcast meteorologists have been labeled “weather girls.” The fact of the matter is they are just as highly educated scientists as their male counterparts. The Weather Channel’s “Weather Geeks” weekly show takes a look at this irritating phenomenon.

Considering the political inclinations that are increasingly hostile towards climate science research, scientists who study our planet are understandably increasingly anxious.

Michael Mann, a well-known climate scientists, has strong opinions on the current USA presidential administration…opinions that reflect the feelings of every scientist I’ve discussed the current science hostile climate (no pun intended) that is ramping up in the Trump administration.

Here’s an interesting read on how a common springtime weather pattern and pollution transported from Asia combines to create unhealthy ozone levels for the USA’s desert southwest.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows improving conditions for California while extreme drought conditions worsen in AR, AL, GA, OK, & much of New England.

drought-monitor-map

 That’s a wrap for this post! A warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 23 – 28, 2017

Greetings and salutations one and all! I hope the weather is being good to you wherever you are. There’s a lot to cover this week…and considering recent current events, there’s more than the usual amount of science and public policy topics to cover. Like it or not, the climate of the country is changing in more than one way. We’ve challenging times ahead.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Taking into consideration the inevitability that the next four years in the USA will be challenging for science, many scientists are now planning to run for public office.

From any rational viewpoint, a disturbing event that is unfolding daily. Any way you slice it, facts aren’t political. “What We Actually Lose When The USDA and EPA Can’t Talk To The Public.” (Updated)

Is there more than one way for the USA to pull out of the Paris climate agreement? Unfortunately, yes.

Still in its formative stages, the March For Science is slowly gaining momentum…and will likely be the next big march in Washington, D.C. The organizers have a website and Twitter account where you can stay up-to-date on details.

Starting with only a few texts between friends, “500 Women Scientists” has grown to 14,000 strong and counting.

TECHNOLOGY

A very interesting privacy and security read. “Firefox, Chrome start calling HTTP connections insecure.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Of Mexico oil spill take a heavy toll on the biosphere…and mental health of people who have to deal with the immediate effects and long-term aftermath.

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has an uncertain future. To get an idea of how filthy it was before its formation, take a look back at America’s environmental state before 1970.

Here’s some good news on the renewable/wind energy front. The USA’s largest offshore wind farm is coming to Long Island.

And some more good news…the Irish parliament has voted to take on the task of divesting from fossil fuels.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA recently tweeted a page that has been a good source of information on global warming…and it’s probably one of the best FAQ sites on the topic you’ll find online. There’s a plethora of references too…and those are gems for further research.

In recent decades, flooding in the northern countries of Europe has more than doubled.

The latest Drought Monitor shows that for the first time since March, 2011, exceptional drought conditions are not affecting the USA population.

Highlights: Drought conditions have eased a great deal across much of California.

capture-2

Extreme Drought conditions (red shading) have spread rapidly in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

capture-1

If you’ve ever wondered how a well done tornado path survey is written up by a National Weather Service office, the survey of the Albany, GA tornado of 22 January 2017 by the Tallahassee, FL NWS is a good example. The vast majority of path surveys done by the NWS are exceptionally detailed studies.

And that’s a wrap for this post! As always, I’d like to send a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. 🙂

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest’s Science Week In Review For January 13 – 23, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to the week and the weather is being kind to you no matter where you are. We’ve just had a three day round of severe weather in the southeastern states of the USA including a High Risk on 22 January 2017. A High Risk is very rare, and even more so in January which is a month that’s not known for severe weather or tornadoes. Unfortunately, there’s a considerable amount of damage from Mississippi to Georgia with a number of fatalities. Simultaneously, the northeastern states dealt with a ‘nor’easter’ and California had an unusual amount of rain. It eased the drought conditions that have plagued that state for years, but won’t help much on the long run. This week’s review was delayed several days by the severe weather events and other projects. My next review will be published this Saturday, 28 January 2017. There’s quite a bit to go over this week, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Who will lead NOAA and, ultimately the National Weather Service, during the Trump administration? This is something to watch very, very carefully.

Due to the lack of American lawmakers who have a sound scientific literacy, it has become increasingly important that scientists become more involved in the political process.

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Pseudoscience is as rampant as ever in our modern day culture and, due to the proliferation of social media, is now more easily distributed to an unwary general public. To put it more succinctly…”This means that just because something catches our attention, or is easy to remember, it does not mean it is useful for understanding a new thing we want to learn.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out this very cool citizen science project that anyone can take part in. The awesome folks at Science Friday have a nice overview of how folks just like you can help out in year-long bird counts.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

How we process information (and where we get it) has much to do with how we interpret the validity of news…and decide on its validity…even if it’s fake and/or of dubious integrity.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A very cool astronomy read on how the universe could contain ten time more galaxies than previously thought.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Is the USA state of Wyoming trying to outlaw clean energy? If so, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent read on severe weather High Risks and associated tornadoes that puts this past week’s severe weather into a historical perspective.

Speaking of tornadoes, is it really that cold inside a tornado? A new study on the tornado vortex says it is cold…very cold.

Since satellite monitoring of sea ice began in the 1970’s, the area of oceans covered by sea ice is at an all time low. Chances are good it’s the lowest it has been for many a millennia.

global-sea-ice-extent-2016The dark burgundy colored line in this NSIDC data graph represents sea ice in 2016. Note how it is far below other lines going back to 1978. Also note that the red line on the far left, representing 2017 to date, is even lower than 2016.

While on the subject of sea ice, take a few minutes and watch this fascinating and well produced video on climate change and its effects on glaciers in Alaska, USA.

Here’s a very good and thought-provoking read from meteorologist Brad Panovich. “It’s Time We Move On From A 0% & 100% Climate Change Debate.”

In case you missed it, “At the exact hour when the presidency transferred hands, the Obama administration’s climate and energy web pages became some of the first casualties of the new Trump administration.”

If the new presidential administration ignores climate change, China is more than willing to step up to the plate and become the world’s leader in climate science.

From a global perspective, some are of the opinion that we’ve almost lost any chance to stave off the effects of climate change. Personally speaking, I’m more optimistic, but we’ve no time to waste on getting the job started…and not letting any one industry or government…get in the way of science.

Fortunately, scientists are reminding citizens of the USA that science has been and always will be a major cornerstone of a civilized, intelligent, educated, and technologically advanced society.

WEATHER SAFETY

Here’s a great read from the American Red Cross on safety travel tips for cold weather conditions.

In light of the recent severe weather events and tornadoes, here’s a quick reminder from the National Weather Service on the difference between a Tornado Watch & a Tornado Warning.

difference-between-tornado-watch-and-warning.

Last but not least, some good news. NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite is fully functional and is sending back some amazing high-resolution images of the Earth. This is truly a watershed event in the atmospheric sciences!

That’s a wrap for this review! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! Have a great week everybody…see you Saturday!

Cheers!


Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

What Does A Particularly Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch mean? #alwx #mswx #flwx

The new Tornado Watch for parts of AL, FL, & a small part of MS is a Particularly Dangerous  Situation (PDS) Tornado Watch. Many folks are not quite sure what that means. From the NOAA Storm Prediction Center’s FAQ, here’s the definition…

2.7 I noticed the wording “THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION” in some of your watches. What does this mean? What is the criteria for a PDS watch?
The “Particularly Dangerous Situation” wording is used in Tornado Watches for rare situations when long-lived intense tornadoes are likely. This enhanced wording may also accompany Severe Thunderstorm Watches for widespread significant severe events, usually produced by exceptionally intense derechos. PDS watches are issued, when in the opinion of the forecaster, the likelihood of significant events is boosted by very volatile atmospheric conditions. Usually this decision is based on a number of atmospheric clues and parameters, so the decision to issue a PDS watch is subjective with no hard criteria. However, the SPC goal is to have 3 out of every 4 PDS Tornado Watches verifying with multiple intense tornadoes. PDS watches are most often issued with a High risk in Day 1 Convective Outlooks.”

All watches, regardless of whether they’re the “typical’ Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch, are something you should watch very carefully, but when a PDS watch is issued, a very active severe weather episode is expected with large hail, strong damaging straight line winds, strong to violent (EF-2+) tornadoes and, last but not least, flash flooding along with dangerous lightning are expected. Considering this PDS Tornado Watch is going into the overnight hours, make sure you have at least three ways of receiving warnings, your NOAA weather radio has fresh batteries and is set on standby, your shelter precautions are in place, and you stay very weather aware by following official sources of potentially life saving information. At night, tornadoes are often difficult to impossible to see…so if you’re in a warning, please take shelter immediately. Lastly, follow @NWSSPC, @NWSBirmingham, @NWSMobile, @NWSTallahassee on Twitter and the broadcast meteorologists/media outlets of your choice.

Stay weather aware and stay safe!

 

 

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