Tornado Quest Science Links and Much More for August 24 – 31, 2014

For the time being, the tropical Atlantic has quieted down. In the eastern Pacific, Hurricane Marie reached an impressive Category 5 status and had an imposing presence on satellite imagery. Though it may seem serene now, especially in the Atlantic, we’re just entering the statistical “peak” of the hurricane season. If you live in a hurricane prone region and have not set in place an evacuation plan and/or emergency disaster kit, now would be an excellent time to do so. And speaking of “below average” weather events, much of the USA is running well below normal for the number of tornadoes to date.

This week’s post will be shorter than usual. I’ve many really exciting projects in the works and with the potential of severe weather Sunday (August 31) and Monday (September 1), my dance card is full.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

NASA’s new Earth Science Week website is up and running! Check it out…and give them a follow on Twitter at @NASAESW

Interesting chart: Why Most STEM Majors Don’t Have STEM Jobs.

TECHNOLOGY

For RadarScope users: How to add custom locations.

Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app should make for some interesting videos of clouds of all kinds.

Using Windows 8.1? Here’s a handy guide on how to tidy it up.

Interesting, and disconcerting, read on why some privacy apps in the Google Play store get the boot.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Like to be a weather detective? You can help out a citizen science project that helps document weather observations back to the late 19th century.

Crowdsourced photos of the dry conditions across many USA states are helping scientists get a clearer idea of how extensive the ongoing drought is.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Volcanic ash and jet aircraft engines don’t mix. Here’s why.

California is part of a very volatile seismic region. Here’s a good read on the causes behind the recent Napa Valley earthquake.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Cleaner air is not only better for our health, but can help pay for reducing carbon emissions.

Renewable energy is growing at an ever-faster pace and produces up to 22% of the world’s electricity.

An interesting perspective: Is ecology explaining less and less?

For the first time ever, drought-ravaged California is going to regulate underground water.

Water scarcity isn’t just a developing world problem, it’s a global issue. A new study says reducing water scarcity is possible by 2050.

Interesting new study says our humble planet Earth can sustain more terrestrial plant growth than previously thought.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For the contiguous USA, 2014 has had a wild roller-coaster ride in regards to temperature. Climate Central also had a very interesting look on this year’s temperatures.

The next time the USA is confronted with a “Katrina” or “Sandy”…will we do better?

Climate scientists are not mincing words on the latest draft of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

These photos of the western USA drought conditions are simultaneously stunning and sobering.

While the tropical season in the Atlantic has been rather quiet, the Pacific has seen (to date) five robust tropical cyclones.

Check out these amazing images of Hurricane Marie…which was a Category 5 hurricane in the eastern Pacific.

NASA is using unmanned aircraft to fly hurricane missions. This has really good future potential.

I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face…but people continually follow (in droves) amateur weather buffs and “social mediarologists” as if every post to their website, blog, Twitter account, et al is the sacred word. Most are of dubious integrity and only fishing for attention and relish needless fear mongering. Long-range hurricane/tropical cyclone outlooks from the National Hurricane Center are the ONLY ones you should take seriously.

 Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” series was a smashing success…and his explanation of climate change is to-the-point and brilliant.

THE QUIXOTIC SIDE OF “DON”T ROCK THE BOAT”

No surprise that an article with this opinion would appear in one of Oklahoma’s largest newspapers. At least this paper used some data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

And that’s a wrap for this wild week! If you’re celebrating Labor Day, enjoy the holiday weekend and if it’s hot, stay cool!

Cheers!

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