Tornado Quest Science Links And More for July 27 – August 3, 2014

It’s hard to believe that August is already here. Before we know it, thoughts will turn to autumn (or spring in the southern hemisphere) and we will see seasonal changes taking place. Speaking of autumn, the recent cool spell across the eastern 2/3 of the contiguous USA has been a welcome respite from the summer heat and humidity. Many areas that are drought-plagued received beneficial rains. Of course, we can’t forget the Atlantic tropical cyclone season. There are many weeks left and though it’s been rather quiet, best not to let our guards down.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

An interesting read on a small study on scientists on Twitter based on “a metric that compares the popularity of scientists on Twitter to the impact of their publications within peer-reviewed journals.”

TECHNOLOGY

An enlightening, and somewhat disconcerting, read on privacy and the mobile devices we love and live by.

Another very informative read from Ghostery (which is a browser add-on that I can’t recommend highly enough): 50 Things A Server Can Tell When You Visit A Webpage.

Single-tasking is apparently the new multi-tasking. Sorry to say, it doesn’t work for me.

The “Right To Be Forgotten” has drawn a great deal of discussion lately. The more I read about it, the more I’m sympathetic to Google’s quandary.

A very thought-provoking read on social media presence: “Preaching Is Creating A Divide Between You And Your Audience.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Interesting insight into the magnetic field of Mercury and how it’s different from the one here on Earth.

The Mars Opportunity rover just broke an extraterrestrial mileage record…25 miles.

The new Mars rover will have more bells and whistles than you can count…and that’s very good!

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

An interdisciplinary look at how paleontology can give us a glimpse of climate change of the past…and future.

A new study suggests that dinosaurs fell victim to a “perfect storm” of events.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The southwestern portions of the USA have had a brutal blow from the ongoing drought. Conditions are bad enough that the amount of remaining groundwater is getting perilously low.

With no end in sight, take a look at how bad the drought conditions are in California.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Tornadoes in New England are rare, but not unheard of. Just a few days ago, an EF-2 tornado damaged portions of Revere, Massachusetts.

Is there reason to be hopeful that we can get a better grasp on climate change? Yes, there is. Here are a few reasons why. At the very least, it can’t hurt to try.

A read on a new study (with journal link) on water vapor in the upper atmosphere and its relation to global warming.

What’s being called “nuisance flooding” is becoming more a regular occurrence. Further details are at this link to the 66 page PDF report from NOAA.

The issue of climate change and politicians isn’t exclusively limited to the United States.

Shattering Myths To Help The Climate” is a good read…and a start…but much work needs to be done yet. Myths, in spite of solid scientific evidence, don’t go away easily.

When the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning, you should take it every bit as seriously as a tornado warning. Not convinced? This video should help.

Another example of the dangers of summer’s “silent killer.”

Had your city reached it’s summer peak heating yet? Fortunately, mine hasn’t…but that’s about to change.

Being a meteorologist is a difficult enough…a myriad of myths exist regarding the science…but a female broadcast meteorologist is all too often the target of a pleb with a pencil.

THE QUIXOTIC VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

At a loss for words, but not at a loss for pity. Political science (an oxymoron if there ever was one) and true science make for poor bedfellows.

That’s a wrap for this week…

Cheers!

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