Monthly Archives: June, 2015

Taking A Break…

Yours truly will be “out of pocket” for at least a couple of days…have some out-patient surgery early Tuesday morning. It’s a stepping stone to a long process. Lady Luck has been a damn good wing-man through my dog fights and I’ve no doubt I’ll return to base a double ace with ammo to spare! For those of you who know the details, I’d like convey my sincere thanks  to you for all of your support and encouragement. Depending on how I feel and my energy level, I may pop online a time or two…but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. In the meantime, keep your eyes to the ever-changing sky and a sense of wonderment in your heart and mind about this fantastically fascinating planet…and universe…we’re so lucky to live in. See you soon!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For June 16 – 24, 2015

With the arrival of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the summer heat has arrived over much of the southern contiguous USA with a vengeance. In mid to late June, we’re already dealing with triple digit heat indices. It’s probably safe to say that the severe weather season, with a few exceptions, is a done deal for the traditional tornado alley. Oddly enough, the epicenter of severe weather shifted to the northern plains, Great Lakes, and south-central Canada unusually early this year. The Pope’s message on climate and the environment has been big news…and should be. While not perfect, it’s a step in the right direction.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

If you’ve never watched This Week In Science, be sure to check out their YouTube channel. Dr. Kiki Sanford and company have a plethora of cool science topics every week. I’ve watched TWIS for years and highly recommend it to anyone of all ages who has an interest in anything and everything science.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Oklahoma is on a pace to break its earthquake records of years past. Shake, frack, and roll.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

New NASA data shows the world’s largest underground aquifers, which are a source of fresh water for hundreds of millions of people, are being depleted at alarming rates.
As an avid recycler, I’ve learned to avoid plastic as much as possible. It’s not easy, but we all have to deal with it…often involuntarily.
Here are six good reasons to either avoid or recycle plastic as much as possible.
A “tip-of-the-hat” to Mom’s Clean Air Force for their recent Father’s Day article, “Five Ways Dad’s Can Fight For Clean Air.”Speaking of clean air, the pollution in Chile has been so bad as of late that a “pollution emergency” was declared in Santiago.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This week is Lightning Safety Week in the USA. Here’s some “bookmark-worthy” safety information from the National Weather Service.

The latest US Drought Monitor map shows the drastic reduction in drought conditions for the southern plains. Unfortunately, conditions for California have been static.

Summer has arrived with a vengeance across the south and southern plains states. Climate Central takes a look at how summers since 1970 have compared to one another.

The Pope’s recent encyclical on the climate and environment has stirred many reactions…including some who find it a bitter pill to swallow.

While the Pope’s encyclical was a good start, Lawrence M. Krauss adeptly points out its shortcomings.

Economics and climatology may seem strange bedfellows, but there is a connection.

Here’s a very thought-provoking read on the complexities and problems in ranking climate data and statistics. “Is Second Place Really First Loser?”

A bizarre National Weather Service restructuring program has been shelved (for the time being) and in its place is something beneficial and life-saving…NWS severe weather communication.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

This week in social media: Tornado Quest on About Me

 

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For June 9 – 16, 2015

Much of the contiguous Great Plains of the USA is in store for more rain this week. While always welcome, it’s been too much of a good thing as of late. A great deal of the rain will come from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. Meanwhile in California, the drought scenario has reached a boiling point as residents are forced to face a fact they refuse to accept: they live in largely a dry climate. Recent severe weather activity across North America has shifted to the central and northern plains to the northeast. While not unusual, it seems to have done so earlier this year than the climatological norm. There’s plenty of other good topics out there, so let’s dive in.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

If this article won’t make you appreciate your laptop, nothing else will.

Another good move by Twitter increases the power of the people over social media trolls.

Hashtags are a mixed blessing. Used correctly and efficiently, they are effecting in disseminating information. Otherwise, they can be annoying #andmakenosensejustlikethiseone.

Social media, when used correctly by official sources, is an excellent source of information and communication during and after disasters.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent primer on one of astronomy’s most unusual enigmas…the black hole.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Can the recent heavy rains in the USA trigger a busy wildfire season? Yes, they can.

Money talks…and some Californian’s with more than enough think they’re exempt from water restrictions during the current ongoing drought. What they fail to understand is the climate they reside in…and that climate is largely a dry one.

As wind energy becomes more popular, the technology naturally advances to more efficient (and quieter) modes of operation.

Savor these spectacular views from the ISS of our humble home.

A fascinating read on the connection between our planet’s forests and climate.

The USA EPA did a recent study that showed no links between fracking and water contamination. In spite of the comprehensive nature of the 1,000 page report, what was left out was the fact that we know so little about unknown (or ignored) risks.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Is the world off course to prevent two degrees C of warming? Apparently so.

Good read with links to further information. “NASA has released data showing how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.”

This tantrum was inevitable. “USA climate change deniers lambast the Pope over his environmental encyclical.”

For those of us who are urbanites, the urban heat effect can make summer nights as miserable as the afternoon heat. Fortunately, there are options that can help.

Finally, part climatology, social science, and public relations…could some of the Pope’s quotes regarding climate change be game-changers in the debate? Time will tell.

If you’re in the states with pending flooding issues, stay safe and remember, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For June 2 – 9, 2015

The southern plains of the contiguous USA are getting a well deserved respite from the recent heavy rains. They certainly busted the drought that had plagued the region for several years. But, as is often the case for that part of the country, it’s feast or famine (aka extremes) when it comes to weather. Unfortunately for California, the relentless drought has now become a way of life and residents are literally ripping up their water-guzzling lawns and lush flowerbeds for native (i.e. drought-tolerant) plants…which are what they should have planted in the first place. In terms of severe weather, an interesting fact that’s come to my attention is the number of tornadoes for Oklahoma in 2015. To date, there have been approximately seventy-seven tornadoes so far…and it’s still only early June. It will be interesting to see how the rest of summer and autumn (which has a slight uptick in severe weather events) turns out. In the tropics, a quieter year than normal is forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season…but it only takes one modest storm to make for a major disaster, especially in a densely populated area. The climate talks in Paris are just a few months away and that’s been a topic of great discussion as of late…but we’ll save that for another time.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Is there an attack on truth…and have we entered an age if willful ignorance? By some accounts, the answer is a resounding, “yes.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

The latest CoCoRaHS update is out. Since March, 2015, they’ve received a million reports from 17,000 stations…and every single one is important. CoCoRaHS is a great way to combine citizen science and your interest in weather.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

As time passes, the connection between fracking and Oklahoma earthquake frequency becomes more obvious. “Mounting Evidence Says Injection Wells Cause Oklahoma’s Earthquake Surge.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

World Oceans Day was observed this week. In light of that, here’s an optimistic view of the future of our planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s the latest US Drought Monitor map. Significant improvement for Oklahoma and Texas…and very little change for the hard hit western states.

The California drought is taking a heavy toll on western farmers to the tune of almost $3 billion in 2015 alone.

A case of too little, too late? “G7 Carbon Goal May Come Too Late, Scientists Say.”

Twenty-five views with a variety of powerful messages on our planet’s changing climate and future.

Check out this great storm chasing essay that not only has great photos, but a spot-on title. “For The Love Of The Storm: Chasing Isn’t All About Tornadoes.” Unfortunately, for many “extreme” storm chasers, a tornado is a means to an end.

The recent story about a hiatus in global warming was just that…a story. Wishful thinking for many who, for financial, legal, or political reasons, still fight scientific facts.

That’s a wrap for this post…see you next time!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For May 26 – June 2, 2015

Many of you who live outside of the southern plains of the contiguous USA may be wondering why all the news coverage of flooding (particularly in Oklahoma and Texas) is taking place. To say that we’ve had more than our share of drought-busting rains is a vast understatement. The good side is we’ve gotten several lakes that have been well below normal for years back to or over their usual level. Many agricultural interests got some badly needed relief. On the sad, and even tragic side, several lives have been lost including a Claremore, OK firefighter who drowned while trying to rescue people who were trapped in a building that was in danger of flooding. Several other Oklahoma first responders had close calls and nearly lost their lives saving people who (to be direct and to-the-point) did stupid and dangerous things…like driving a large four-wheel drive vehicle through water of an unknown depth. Those of us in the know who have seen the after effects of deadly floods (which I have) could talk to a good portion of the public until we’re blue in the face about the dangers of flash floods, but it’s all too often for naught. Everyone thinks their vehicle can handle the water. Everyone thinks their driving skills can overcome the forces of nature. Everyone thinks that drowning fatalities only happen to “other” people. The sad truth is 1. Flash Flooding is the largest weather related killer and outranks yearly the number of people killed by tornadoes, hurricanes, heat, cold, lightning, et. al combined and 2. YOU are just as vulnerable to death by drowning regardless of what kind of vehicle you’re driving. If you’re interested in staying alive, read this and take it to heart…and seriously. Now, on to our regular business.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

I’m absolutely gobsmacked that in 2015 this is still an issue. “Bias Against Women In Science Persists, Even In Egalitarian Societies.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This can’t happen soon enough…and with merciless vengeance. Twitter trolls, your days are numbered. The Department of Justice is about to drop the hammer…on you.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

From personal experience, I’ve no doubt this is true. “Seeing Awe-Inspiring Natural Sights Makes You A Better Person.”

EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY/PALEONTOLOGY

Fascinating read on new evidence on the origins of life.

There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A new study finds little known earthquake and tsunami hazards are lurking offshore of Southern California.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Cooperation is imperative to dealing with drought conditions. “Watersheds don’t obey the political boundaries of multi-state, multi-country resources.”

In the midst of an unprecedented California drought, residents of San Diego are ripping up their water-guzzling lawns.

As the world’s population grows, the quest to quench an ever-growing thirsty planet is an increasingly daunting task.

It would be great to see these go worldwide. “World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016.”

Snow may be fun while it’s fresh…but the melting piles that are still melting are vile in every way possible.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The Atlantic hurricane season has officially started. Here’s an excellent overview of storm names, the seasonal outlook, and forecast products.

Complacency regarding the hurricane threat can lead to potentially lethal consequences. For many vulnerable regions of the USA, luck will run out…eventually. Regardless of how ambivalent one may be, now is the time to prepare…and the Red Cross has an excellent Hurricane Safety Checklist. (1 page PDF file)

Contrary to popular opinion, tropical storms are not the “drought-busters” that people want to believe they are.

This op-ed is simultaneously ignorant of the National Weather Service warning procedure, the atmospheric fluid dynamics of tornadogenisis, and fawningly sycophantic. Oddly enough, that’s about all it does achieve.

And before I close out this post one more reminder on flash flooding…TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

Food for thought regarding climate change in the future. “Can A 4C Earth Support 10 Billion People?

An interesting read on research linking a warming Arctic and its potential connections to extremes in weather events.

A very interesting and telling look at eight maps that reveal American’s incoherent opinions of climate change.

THE QUIXOTIC

The plot thickens in the fracking/earthquake connection as academic integrity is threatened in Oklahoma. “Did Oklahoma’s richest man try to get Oklahoma Geological Survey scientists dismissed?”

For some, wind farms are an eyesore and aesthetics always outweigh environmental benefits…ergo, the perfect reason to abolish them from the face of the planet. Right.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

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