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!

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