Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Sept. 23 – 30, 2015

All eyes are on the Atlantic as Hurricane Joaquin intensifies and is forecast to effect the eastern USA seaboard and many inland areas. There still exists a great deal of forecast uncertainty and there are a myriad of variables to contend with. We’ll touch on that later. In other news, a very nice lunar eclipse provided quite a spectacle for tens of millions of people. Trust me, it was quite a sight. There was also exciting news from NASA regarding the presence of water on the planet Mars. In consideration of the ongoing events (Joaquin) and several important projects underway, this week’s post will be exceptionally brief.

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

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

National Preparedness Month may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t give anyone permission for complacency or the luxury of not worrying because, “those things only happen to other people. Yes, it can happen to you. The impacts to you could be considerable, even as a storm is weakening, well inland, and no longer has many of its tropical characteristics. This is a case where it’s best to err on the side of caution…just in case.

 GENERAL SCIENCE/CRITICAL THINKING

Bad science is always fair game…and should be. It should also be “called on the carpet” at every opportunity.

The USA is stuck with an anti-science congress. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to change soon.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out the myriad of citizen science opportunities from NOAA.

Like to help document light pollution in urban areas? There’s an app for that.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The exciting astronomy news this week: salty water detected flowing on Mars in close proximity to the Curiosity rover.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Air pollution kills millions every year. Who does it kill and why…and what can be done about it?

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An excellent read by Greg Laden: The Climate Change Consensus Extends Beyond Climate Scientists.

Hurricane Joaquin is the big meteorology story for the next several days. In addition to the broadcast meteorologists of your choice, NOAA weather radio, and your local National Weather Service office, follow the National Hurricane Center for the latest updates on Joaquin. For the benefit of the safety of your loved ones as well as yourself, please use very strong discretion in filtering information about Joaquin. Your weather information, including potentially life-saving warnings, needs to come from official sources. In the twenty-plus years I’ve been using the internet, a great deal of speculation can find its way into the public’s discussion. At this time, my bottom line message to you is prepare ahead of time while you have time.

THE QUIXOTIC

Another loose cannon donning a tin foil hat is on the loose. What will they dream up next? 8-/

On the brighter side, two last bits of business…

  • I’d like to send a very warm welcome and “hello” to my new followers on social media. I’m glad you folks are along for the fun. The best is yet to come and I’m in this for the long haul.
  • Coming soon, I’ll be hosting weather and science “hangouts” on FriendLife. Dates and times will be posted on Tornado Quest’s Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress social media outlets. I look forward to chatting with many of you!

That’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Twitter

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Sept. 16 – 23, 2015

There’s a touch of autumn in the air across much of North America. In fact, I’ve even seen some photographs in my Twitter feed of trees showing off some very nice colors. September is also Emergency Preparedness Month. Here’s a very nice link from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Add this info to your arsenal of bookmarks for a plethora of preparedness info that will help you get in shape for the things we hope won’t happen.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

There’s quite an “ad-block-alypse” going on as of late in regards to ad-blocking add-ons and/or software.

For iOS users…a nice read on the ad blockers that won’t make your browser seem like molasses running uphill.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

This is a “must-see” astronomy event that’s coming this Sunday: The first “Super Moon” Eclipse in thirty-two years is this Sunday, 27 September 2015.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Paleontology isn’t the glamorous “Jurassic Park” fun and games most people think it is. In fact, most paleontologists work in very challenging conditions…and this is no exception.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A very telling read that most Oklahoman’s (including your’s truly) can relate to. “How One US State Went From Two Earthquakes A Year To 585.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

A very cool read on five things that people generally don’t consider recyclable.

Yes, it’s alright to buy water in plastic bottles for emergencies. Just make sure you follow proper precautions for water purity and safety. In life-threatening emergencies, there’s not always time to be green. Caveat: This is my personal opinion and the people who would disagree probably live in areas that are not subject to the horrors we see almost every year in Tornado Alley.

The inexorable link between health and climate is clearly explained in this article on air pollution and it’s deadly effects.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The much ballyhooed global warming “pause” may have occurred, but it’s no spearheading “game changer” and will have little to no significance regarding the overwhelming trend of climate change.

The AP Stylebook has just made a major faux pas that makes no sense at all.

Climate change denialists are now resorting to tactics used by the tobacco industry to discredit medical evidence on the harmful effects of smoking.

El Nino and La Nina will exacerbate (and threaten tens of millions) with coastal hazards across entire Pacific.

Public relations food for thought. “Should We Do Away With Percent Chance Of Rain And Just Use Words?” The greatest problem/challenge for NWS and broadcast meteorologists is dispelling the common myths that run rampant.

Last but not least, a reminder for National Preparedness Month that NOAA has a very nice site with a plethora of preparedness information. Check it out…and prepare now before it’s too late.

THE QUIXOTIC

Not sure what to make of this, but it’s “no-new-news” to my fellow “Quake-lahomans.”

As Oklahoma tallies up more earthquakes by the dozens…the “quakegate” continues…

On the brighter side, two last bits of business…

  • I’d like to send a very warm welcome and “hello” to my new followers on social media. I’m glad you folks are along for the fun. The best is yet to come and I’m in this for the long haul.
  • Coming soon, I’ll be hosting weather and science “hangouts” on FriendLife. Dates and times will be posted on Tornado Quest’s Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress social media outlets. I look forward to chatting with many of you!

That’s a wrap for this post! See you good folks soon!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Sept. 9 – 16, 2015

There’s been a subtle touch of autumn in the air across North America this week, though if you live in the Southern Plains, it doesn’t feel like it. Temperatures approaching 90F will keep the flannel shirts in storage for a while longer. While the tropical cyclone activity in the Pacific has been going strong, the Atlantic has been well-behaved. Let’s hope that trend continues.

An abbreviated post this week due to several projects with looming deadlines…such is the life of a freelance writer.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION

Have you tested your science literacy lately? Here’s a good quiz from the Pew Research Center.

Why every college student, regardless of major, needs to take science courses.

Evaluating science stories can be a daunting task for even the most discriminating reader. Here’s the best essay on this challenging task I’ve read to date.

 “Alabama Students Will Finally Be Required To Learn About Climate Change And Evolution.” It’s hard to believe this is still an issue for debate in the 21st century.

TECHNOLOGY

“What Americans think about NSA surveillance, national security and privacy.” Appropriately enough, American citizens are deeply concerned over blatant privacy and civil liberties violations.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

An excellent read on the value of citizen science and its participants.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Mars continues to fascinate us…and we’d only just begun to understand and explore amazing sights like these.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The importance of clean indoor air is one of the most underrated environmental science issues.

For decades, public health officials have known that outdoor air quality is linked to substantial health problems. New research renews the fact that it can kill you.

The impact of marine debris is immense as this information from NOAA explicitly shows.

The western USA states aren’t the only areas on our planet that are reeling from the effects of an ongoing drought.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Why do we trust the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) regarding climate change? This excellent video explains it all.

It’s only September and 2015 is already shaping up to be an even warmer year globally than 2014.

The ice melt occurring on Antarctica is taking place at an alarming rate and could effect coastal cities much sooner than previously anticipated.

How much rain would it take to put a dent in California’s ongoing drought?

Predicting tornadoes months or seasons in advance is nice in theory, but riddled with misinterpretation potential that mainstream non-science media, laypersons, storm chasers, and “mediarologist” hype-sters would have a field day with.

THE QUIXOTIC

Major League strike-out: Putting weather decisions in the hands of umpires is also a major league FUBAR just waiting to happen. Talk about the hen guarding the hen house…egads!

And that’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Facebook

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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

For much of the contiguous USA plains states, summer heat has been holding on with a vengeance. Fortunately, there are changes underway as we speak and before long, autumn will “show its colors” (no pun intended). It’s also common for an uptick in severe weather to occur across Tornado Alley during the fall months. In the tropical cyclone realm, the Pacific has been very busy this year. The Atlantic has been relatively well-behaved in spite of some noble attempts at hurricane formation. Considering the alternative, I don’t really think anyone in hurricane prone regions is complaining. The downside is the fact that it’s been a decade since a significant hurricane made landfall in the USA. Complacency can breed carelessness. Therefore, this is a good time for us to remind ourselves that September is National Preparedness Month. The theme for 2015 is “Don’t Wait, Communicate” and the time to prepare for natural disasters of all kinds is now…when things are quiet…and you have the time and presence of mind to make calm, rational decisions. Those who have prepared ahead of time and experienced a disaster have told me many times that the time, effort, and resources used to “prep” were well worth it and, in some cases, life saving “preventative medicine.” It doesn’t matter where you live, even if the annual weather events are rather uneventful. Everyone is vulnerable.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/STEM

If you have a daughter interested in a science career, have her check out the Women In STEM career videos from GotScience.org.

Check out this nice infographic on how essential earth and space science is to all of us. It involves saving lives…every day.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Many people have serious privacy concerns over Windows 10. To add insult to injury, concerns are now raised over Windows 7 and 8.

If you’re concerned about online security, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense information. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

A very interesting and telling read from the Pew Research Center. “Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015.”

I very, very rarely recommend apps (especially weather apps) since the quality and accuracy of data is so unpredictable. But, in addition to the apps that you feel serve you best, I’d add the American Red Cross app. It’s very customizable and highly informative.

If, like me, you’re a user of many Apple products, here’s a quick overview of the September 9, 2015 Apple product event. For weather folks (including storm chasers), the new and larger iPad Pro would be an excellent addition in the field for radar products and/or model runs…and any improvement on iPhone processor and camera capabilities is a “must have.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project just in time for autumn. Kids, parents, and teachers can learn the “hows and whys” of leaves changing color during fall.

Speaking of plant-based citizen science for kids, here’s an excellent resource from Project BudBurst for K-4 educators.

Caren Cooper has written and excellent essay on the importance of the role citizen science plays in our children’s science education.

This is a project that should be taking place across North America. “European Citizens Measure Air Pollution With Their Smartphones.”

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

What is Geologic time? A very, very, very long time.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The recent wildfires in the northwest USA have done more than burn vegetation, they’ve endangered wildlife.

Yes, school recycling competitions are for real…and I’d like to see more of these everywhere.

Just follow the money. “Back to School: “Frackademia” Alive and Well at U.S. Universities, Says New Report.”

An interesting read on the irrevocable climate-biosphere link and how crucial food chain bacteria is altered by climate change.

A UK study that would without a doubt be valid worldwide. Trees in urban areas are valuable in dispersing air pollution (and improve the quality of the air you and I breathe).

Awesome is an understatement! “The Netherlands plans to have a 100% wind-powered railway system by 2018.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This past week was the 115th anniversary of the deadliest weather disaster in the history of the USA: the 1900 Galveston, TX hurricane. There’s no exact death toll, but varying estimates range from a very, very conservative 6,000 to as high as 10,000. If you’ve not read “Issac’s Storm,” you should. It’s an excellent account of events and even an enlightening glimpse into the history of the science of early forecasting.

A very nice side-by-side comparison of 1997 and 2015 El Ninos from Climate Central.

While on the topic of El Nino, here’s a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers that has everything you ever wanted to know about this climate phenomenon and more.

According to new research, droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past.

An interesting read on how climate change would mean the death of one world and the birth of another.

If you live in the western contiguous 48 USA and thought August was hot, you were right. It was well above average in temperatures.

Many of us, including your’s truly, have watched The Weather Channel since it first aired in 1982. There are some big changes on tap and, personally speaking, I think they’re beneficial in the long-term.

“Cherry-picking” research is common among climate change denialists. In spite of the overwhelming worldwide consensus, research of dubious integrity continues.

QUIXOTIC HUMOR

If there was ever a country that has a fascinating cornucopia of dialects, it’s the USA. “Welcome To The United Slang Of America.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “welcome” to my new followers. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Instagram

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 26 – September 2, 2015

For all my followers in the Northern Hemisphere, I’d like to extend a “Happy Meteorological Autumn” to you. Nothing magically happens on September 1, December 1, etc…it’s simply an easy way to categorize climatological seasons. For many of us in North America, we won’t notice many changes for several more weeks. In fact, the most noticeable change for those of us in the Great Plains are the days with decreasing hours of daylight. That will continue until the Winter Solstice in late December when, once again, the days will slowly get longer in spite of many long winter days ahead. As for the tropical cyclone activity, the Atlantic has behaved quite well. Erika was forecast by many computer models to reach hurricane intensity and threaten Florida and possibly the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, that didn’t come to fruition. On the flip side, Fred ramped up quickly west of the African coast which prompted an unheard of Hurricane Warning for the Cape Verde Islands. The Pacific has been another story. Just this past week for the first time since records have been kept, three major category hurricanes were in progress at the same time and all three visible on the same satellite image. Quite the jaw-dropping sight!

 

vis sat hurricane

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

TECHNOLOGY

A disconcerting read on how an increasing number of wireless users are being tracked by “zombie cookies.”

Google Chrome users have a reason to celebrate. Auto-play Flash ads are now blocked in Chrome.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Fall into Phenology with this very cool citizen science project from Project BudBurst. With autumn just around the corner, now’s the time to get involved!

Here’s an intriguing European citizen science project where smart phone users can collect data on air pollution.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

From the North American Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, large wildfires are becoming increasingly common and more destructive.

Speaking of wildfires, in 2015 alone, more than 8 million acres across the USA have been consumed. That’s an area larger than the state of Maryland.

Wildfires in close proximity can be lethal, but so can the resulting smoke which can travel hundreds of miles.

I’ve read several disturbing stories about this and, unfortunately, it’s likely to only get worse. “Plastic In 99% Of Seabirds By 2050.”

Iceland, you’ve always rocked in my book…and this takes you up a few notches higher. “Iceland turned an old coal plant into a haven for artists and entrepreneurs.”

Pope Francis has courageously stepped up to the plate once again…this time he’s asking the rich and powerful to do their share on behalf of our humble home.

You don’t have to be rich and powerful to do something good. Here’s a good list of eleven tips for saving water…and money.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on why it’s easier to track a hurricane than predict its intensity.

This is a fascinating, but not surprising, study from NASA on the connection of vegetation and the urban heat island effect.

Upon close examination and after ten years, these satellite images from NOAA of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath are still startling.

A very interesting retrospective. One hundred sixty years of hurricanes in one infographic.

Finally, September is National Preparedness Month in the USA. The theme for 2015 is “Dont’ Wait, Communicate.” Check out www.ready.gov for details.

I’d like to extend a hearty “Welcome!” to my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun!

That’s a wrap for this post…the 200th post for me on this particular blog since April, 2009. I’m looking forward to the next 200…and much, much more!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Facebook

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