Tornado Quest Science Links and Much More for August 17 – 24, 2014

Summer heat has settled in across the central and southern plains this week bringing with it seasonably hot temperatures and dewpoints that make the atmosphere “air you wear.” In the tropics, the Pacific has still been active (Hurricane Marie is now a Category 5), but fortunately no land masses are currently threatened. The Atlantic has also remained quiet as of late save for Cristobal which has an erratic future that has spurred not a little hype.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Like it or not, Google Maps can track your every move. Fortunately, you can do something about that.

While on the topic of privacy, here are some good iOS privacy tips.

Regardless of what browser you use, you should be using privacy extensions. Here’s an overview of some of the best. I use many of these myself and can’t recommend them highly enough.

There are chances coming to your Twitter timeline that, in my opinion, are bound to be irritating.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project where you can help scientists identify cities at night and help increase our knowledge of light pollution.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Why does NASA study the ultraviolet sun? Solar weather and public health are just two of many reasons.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The “cookie-cutter” nature of many new subdivisions and home owner associations are going legal over some residents attempts at installing solar energy equipment.

While on the topic of solar power, here’s a look at the top ten solar energy states in the US.

How about some good news. According to the EPA, progress is being made in reducing urban air toxics in the US.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Napa Valley region of California had the strongest earthquake since 1989 in the early morning hours of 24 August, 2014. If you felt it, here are three ways you can report your information.

With the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma taking a dramatic uptick  in recent years (with as many as 20 in one day), many folks have questions. Here’s a good OK Earthquake FAQ from the OK Geological Survey.

The ongoing drought in western states, California in particular, is potent enough to move mountains.

If you need information on Iceland’s #Bárðarbunga volcano, the Iceland Met Office has all the latest information you need.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For the latest on Cristobal, follow the National Hurricane Center at @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter or their website at this link. Of course, your local and/or national broadcast weather sources of your choice will have good info as well.

When it comes to weather and climate research, three radars are always better than one.

Here’s this week’s US Drought Monitor. Some relief for the southern plains, but much of California is still in the grips of a brutal drought.

The Climate Prediction Center’s drought outlook is out…and there’s no relief in sight for many western states.

The “hurricane hype” from “mediarologists and storm chasers is really nothing new, but a constant irritant that’s frequently seen during tornado warnings, blizzards, derechos, etc. What’s one to do? Remember, only heed warning information from your local National Weather Service office and the broadcast weather sources of your choice. The Weather Channel’s WX Geeks show addresses this in a recent episode. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Thanks to WX Geeks host Dr. Marshall Shepherd for posting all three parts on Twitter.

The heat island effect cooks US cities to the broiling point. Having been born and raised in a large metro area, I can attest to the validity of this.

Being a climate scientist isn’t easy in the current political climate (no pun intended) which tends to put a higher priority on short-term profits over long-term public health of current, and future, generations.

One of this week’s best links…”A Little Love For The Locals, Please?” Being a broadcast meteorologist isn’t the bright lights and glamour many assume it to be.

A LOOK AT THE OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN SCIENCE…

Sometimes, evidence based facts can induce vitriol of the worst kind. Teaching people how to think (aka critical thinking) and not what to think can be a most daunting task.

Have a great week…

Cheers!

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