Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Dec. 22 – 29, 2014

Another year is finally drawing to a close. There are a plethora of “year end lists” out there on every topic imaginable. In terms of climate and weather, it’s always interesting to look back for weather geeks like me. For North America, two things are certain. 2014 will go down as one of the years with the lowest tornado count and (fortunately) another year without a devastating major hurricane making landfall. As for climatology, much new climate change research was revealed and reconfirmed. In spite of the naysayers (who so often confuse weather with climate), the atmosphere above us and the inexorably linked biosphere in which we live is changing…and few species are as poorly adapted to deal with the changes as our own. What will 2015 bring? In terms of synoptic or mesoscale meteorology, we will wait and find out. I’ve no idea what the coming severe weather “season” will bring. Certain climactic variable may give us a subtle hint, but I’m not delusional to think that such short-term synoptic scale events can be forecast months in advance. Yes, it’s tempting for many to be drawn to prognostications like a moth to a flame but chances are they’ll just get burned. So if you do indulge, caveat emptor and avoid the fear mongers. And on that note…let us continue.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

An interesting read on the different cultures that exist in various scientific fields.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Could cash, Twitter, and Facebook be sent to Coventry 2015? Maybe.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A look back at some amazing space images of 2014.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s a very informative article on “treecycling” and what to do with your Christmas tree after the holiday winds down.

A Christmas tree made of plastic shopping bags certainly induces one to take pause and think.

The USA could power itself with solar energy about 100 times over. I’d certainly love to see this come to fruition.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A thought provoking long-read. “The Climate In 2015: Everything’s Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart.”

According to data from NOAA, 2014 will go down in the records book as the hottest year yet.

This is a spot-on essay that touches on why we should feel optimistic about our planet’s climate in 2015.

Finally, here’s a non-technical overview of the USA tornadoes of 2014. Overall, it was well below average in most every category.

Happy New Year to all! Let’s get 2015 off to a good start!

Cheers!

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