Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For April 29 – May 6, 2014

It’s been another busy weather week. While we’ve had a momentary respite in severe weather activity across North America, the fire weather has (literally) been out of control. In Oklahoma alone, thousands of acres have burned in the last few days, dozens of firefighters treated for heat-related illnesses, and one fatality. Thunderstorms are on the menu and, in spite of the risk of severe weather, most will be glad to get the rain even if it comes with a little hail. Emphasis on the word little.

Once again, a “full dance card” will be the MO until further notice. Ergo, this will be a shorter than usual post. This week’s links for your consideration…

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Contrary to popular internet rumor (even I foolishly took the bait momentarily), there is no “earthquake warning” for Oklahoma. The USGS merely said there is an increasing chance of another magnitude 5.0 or higher quake in the Sooner state. The main concern? Older masonry buildings.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

A sobering look at how long it takes for easily recycled items to decompose in the environment.

Minnesota has become quite the hot bed for solar energy.

Read about the world’s first island to be fully powered by wind and water.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The new National Climate Assessment website is up and running…and looking good. Check it out!

Better building codes could improve survivability rates in strong/violent tornadoes. The obvious challenge is the fact that your well-built home is only as sturdy as the poorly build homes that, once shredded, slam into it. The good news is that a quality storm shelter, even above ground, provides excellent protection.

2014 is off to a “slow” start in terms of number of tornadoes. But, this is only early May & we have many active severe weather months ahead.

Good read by meteorologist Dan Satterfield on the successful popularity of the NWS dual-pol radar data.

How climate change is making American’s favorite crop (in everything from fuel to toothpaste) more vulnerable.

While on the topic of climate change: The Top Ten Global Warming “Skeptic” Arguments Answered.

Record setting spring heat added to an ongoing drought has made Oklahoma a tinderbox.

THE QUIXOTIC

Science clearly has a very long way to go…*sigh*…A Lot of Americans Think The Spirit World Exists.

Americans are clearly unproductive when divided on many topics…and climate change, like most emotional vitriol…runs along party lines.

The prospect for severe weather across the plains states is calling…busy days ahead.

Cheers!

 

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